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Canada, BC Fund Agrifood Innovation & Sustainability

17 December 2013

CANADA - The governments of Canada and British Columbia are investing more than C$2 million in agricultural projects that support business development, innovation, food safety, and sustainability.

Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and B.C. Agriculture Minister Pat Pimm announced the first projects to be funded under the new Growing Forward 2 (GF2) Agreement.

“British Columbia has a strong agricultural sector, with the potential to grow even more,” said Minister Ritz.

“Through Growing Forward 2, we are investing in opportunities to enhance research and development and increase production and export capacities. BC’s agriculture and agri-food sector will be well positioned to maximize new opportunities our Government is achieving, such as the recently announced market access in the EU.”

“The GF2 Agreement is about ensuring our B.C. agriculture sector is using the latest knowledge and technology,” said Pimm. “The experience they will gain from these projects will help the whole sector compete internationally and maximize the potential of the increasing demand for high quality food.”

Between April 1 and September 30, 2013:

  • The BC Agricultural Research & Development Corporation received C$1.3 million for the delivery of the Beneficial Management Practices Program and the Environmental Farm Plan Program. Through these programs farmers and ranchers can identify agri-environmental risks, and get support to implement selected beneficial management practices on their farms and ranches.
  • The BBC Cherry Association received C$54,000 to facilitate inspection approvals by hosting Chinese inspectors and coordinating visits to B.C. cherry orchards.
  • The BC Blueberry Council received C$25,000 to support a one-year pilot program that will encourage good grower practices, as well as respond and address community complaints regarding the use of propane cannons and audible bird scare devices.

The five-year GF2 policy framework came into effect on April 1, 2013, and provides a C$3 billion federal, provincial and territorial government investment in innovation, competitiveness and market development. The framework includes C$2 billion cost-shared on a 60:40 basis for programs delivered by provinces and territories, as well as C$1 billion for federal-only strategic initiatives.

The BC Jobs Plan’s Agrifoods Strategy clearly states how innovation and improved competitiveness will help the agriculture sector become a C$14-billion-a-year industry by 2017.

TheCropSite News Desk



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