Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre, and Chris Bittle, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines, on behalf of the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced 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. 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.
“Scientific innovation is key to the Ontario tender fruit and fresh grape sector increasing the sustainability, competitiveness and profitability of their industry sector,” said the Honourable Marie-Claud Bibeau, minister of agriculture and agri-food. “The Government of Canada is pleased to announce this federal investment, as it means increased opportunities for producers, packers, processors and retailers.”
This initiative is funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriScience Program, which aims to accelerate the pace of innovation by providing funding and support for pre-commercial science activities and cutting-edge research that benefits the agriculture and agri-food sector and Canadians.
“Tender fruit growers represent a very important part of Canada’s agricultural industry. It is exciting to see growers work together with researchers at the University of Guelph and Vineland Research and Innovation Centre to use scientific research to identify new varieties best suited to be grown locally,” said Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre. “This investment will not only benefit tender fruit growers as they look to maximize their yields, it will also benefit Canadians by ensuring locally grown tender fruit is as healthy and delicious as possible – something we will all enjoy.”