Pinder Dhaliwal, BCFGA president, Stephen Fuhr MP for Kelowna-Lake Country, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau and Erin Wallich, manager for research and development at Summerland Varieties Corp., March 11. Sydney Morton/Capital News

Federal funding will support tree fruit industry

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau came to BC Tree Fruits in Kelowna to announce the $4.2M investment

Canada’s tree fruit industry is getting a $4.2-million investment from the federal government.

On her first agricultural tour, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau met with farmers, processors and industry leaders before announcing the investment, along with Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr.

The funding comes through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership and AgriScience Program in the British Columbia Fruit Growers’ Association and will help develop innovative, commercially successful Canadian-bred apple and sweet cherry cultivars that enhance the profitability of Canada’s tree fruit centre.

READ MORE: Okanagan cherries enter the Japanese market

“This will continue to support the industry and the funding will keep us on the cutting edge,” said Bibeau. “Our government is committed to ensuring the industry and our producers have the tools they need to succeed.”

The investment will help ensure Canada’s growth in the tree fruit industry. In 2017 apples represented 41.5 per cent of the total marketed production of fruit in Canada, valued at $224.6M and cherries represented $88.2M in the same year. Bibeau said B.C. represents three-quarters of exporters of tree fruits in the country.

READ MORE: B.C. farmers aren’t ‘persons’ under new agricultural land legislation

Erin Wallich, manager for research and development at Summerland Varieties Corp., one of the facilities where the research will take place, said the funding will cultivate crucial research.

“We will be able to determine if an apple tree will deliver crisp fruit before it flowers for the first time, and will develop technology to quickly and accurately identify thousands of genotypes and identify which one or two tree fruits are promising,” said Wallich. She said that is only a sample of the research that will be conducted across Canada and at Summerland Varieties Corp.

READ MORE: ‘Everybody’s drowning right now’: B.C. fruit industry struggling

Pinder Dhaliwal, BCFGA president, said the funds will help Canada capture premium markets in Asia and Europe.

“This announcement also paves the way for all Canadian producers to have the best practices for new varieties of apples and cherries,” said Dhaliwal.

“This project is truly a large collaboration of many like-minded people working together to develop some of the best apples in the world and will be giving new varieties the best chance in the market place. This research will help us create income and wealth and will lead us to a successful tree fruit industry.”

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Tears and laughter celebrate Bruce Johnson’s Life

Over 1,000 people packed the conference hall of the Lakeside to celebrate the life of Bruce Johnson

Destructive blaze in West Kelowna fatal for cat

The fire at a West Kelowna condo claimed the life of one tenant’s cat

For New York artist from the darkness comes light

Light has a spiritual life of its own for New York artist who opens his show March 30 in Penticton

Penticton SAR team helicopters injured climber to safety

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

‘Hauntingly gritty’ duo coming to iconic Okanagan music venue

The LYNNeS multi-award-winning Canadian folk artists are going to be in Penticton March 27

Okanagan experts share bike security tips

Geoff Prowse from the Bike Barn and Josh Shulman from Freedom the Bike Shop share their tips.

Bobrovsky perfect as Blue Jackets blank Canucks 5-0

Vancouver shut out for 10th time this season

Kelowna artist featured on furniture

Shandra Smith’s work is now available on credenzas

Destructive blaze in West Kelowna fatal for cat

The fire at a West Kelowna condo claimed the life of one tenant’s cat

Sock Hop aims to send dancers back to another time

Writers’ Festival fundraiser in Salmon Arm springs into step for another year

Man pinned under metal tank in West Kelowna

Emergency personnel are on the scene

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Most Read