‘Growing Forward 2’ Invests in BC Agriculture

December 22, 2015

BC – British Columbia’s agrifood industry is receiving about $900,000 for 16 new projects that support a broad range of innovative products, practices and technologies of direct benefit to the sector.

“Funding from the Canada-B.C. Agri-Innovation Program is turning the tide for a variety of sectors throughout the province,” says Ken Bates, Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C. board chair. “From small-scale businesses to industry associations and post-secondary institutions, these investments are helping our industry partners enhance long-term competiveness and sustainability.”

  • The projects include:
    • The development of “sushi quinoa” – a type of quinoa with a sticky consistency to supply the sushi market with an alternative to rice.
    • Testing the effectiveness of a new pest-bird control product. If successful, the product could be an ideal option for cherry, grape and berry growers in B.C.
    • Testing a foliar spray to help reduce premature fruit drop and increase blueberry yields.
    • Monitoring pathogens in cherry orchards and storage facilities with wireless technology that will help B.C. cherry growers become more competitive for the Asian markets.
    • Building on an earlier innovation-funded project that focused on the development and marketing of a cloud-based food safety program.

The funding comes from the governments of Canada and British Columbia’s commitment under the Growing Forward 2 agreement to provide up to $13.4 million between 2013 and 2018 through the Canada-B.C. Agri-Innovation Program. So far, 95 projects have shared almost $8 million in funding. Funding is still available to support the commercialization and adoption of innovation projects that benefit individual enterprises and positively impact the B.C. agriculture and agri-foods sector as a whole.

“The British Columbia agriculture industry is always looking for new ways to remain competitive,” says Norm Letnick, B.C. Minister of Agriculture. “With this funding support, the projects will benefit the entire sector while assisting them in earning more dollars.”

Growing Forward 2 is a five-year agreement launched in 2013 that provides a $3-billion, federal-provincial-territorial government investment in innovation, competitiveness and market development.

– For information on federal Growing Forward 2 programs, visit: www.agr.gc.ca/GrowingForward2.

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