Aug 23, 2019Ontario fruit growers get $475,000 for research
Canadian officials recently promised an investment of up to $476,908 for the Ontario Tender Fruit Growers and Fresh Grape Growers to improve fruit quality and availability of tender fruit and fresh grape varieties for consumers.
The research project aims to improve Canadian tender fruits such as apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, and pears, for example by extending the growing season and storability, according to a press release from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The project will also study black knot disease in plums and develop new tender fruit and fresh grape varieties. The technical results of the research will be shared with the Canadian tree fruit and fresh grape sectors.
This initiative is funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriScience Program, which provides funding and support for pre-commercial science activities and cutting-edge research that benefit the agriculture and agri-food sector and Canadians.
Officials rolled out the funding Aug. 22 at Victoria Avenue Farm near Vineland Station, Ontario.
“This collaboration is a long-term commitment from growers, researchers at University of Guelph and Vineland Research and Innovation Centre to bring new varieties of locally grown fruit to consumers across Canada,” said Phil Tregunno, Chairman of the Ontario Tender Fruit Growers group. “These partnerships have resulted in new growth opportunities that not only provide benefit for family farms, but also all of our partners, including marketers, retailers and nurseries.”
In 2018, the farm-gate value for tender fruit and table grapes in Ontario totaled more than $66 million and over $4 million respectively, for a combined total of more than $71 million, according to the press release. Over 91% of this fruit is sold through fresh-market sales.
Above, Canadian officials pose with fruit at a funding announcement. From the left are Phil Tregunno, Chair, Ontario Tender Fruit Growers; Chris Bittle, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines; Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre. Photo: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada