The federal government has announced an investment of up to $11.5 million to the Horticulture Cluster under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The cluster, led by the Canadian Horticultural Council, will include an additional $6.5 million in contributions from industry, for a total investment of $18 million.
“Innovation is the lifeblood of Canada’s horticulture industry," said Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence. "Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, we are committed to supporting cutting-edge research that will address challenges and deliver new tools and practices to help Canadian farmers lead the world in sustainable, high quality fruit and vegetable production for years to come.”
The cluster will support cutting-edge research to develop new technologies and practices for better pest and disease management, post-harvest storage and handling for apples, berries, field vegetables, potatoes and greenhouse grown crops and strategies to improve soil health.
“CHC is thrilled to again be entering into a valued partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada on its AgriScience Cluster Program," said Brian Gilroy, President Canadian Horticultural Council. "This important funding allows us to broaden the scope of research for many different fruits and vegetables and address key issues, such as pest management tools, labour, production costs, and variety evaluation. AAFC’s Cluster program will help to ensure Canadian farmers can continue to grow fruits and vegetables of the highest quality, while supporting the sector’s competitiveness in an ever-changing world.”
The cluster also builds on previous work by supporting sustainable practices to reduce the environmental footprint and develop new crop varieties.
The Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) is a not-for-profit, national association that represents fruit and vegetable growers across Canada involved in the production of over 120 different types of crops on over 14,237 farms.