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Government of Canada invests in hort sector


July 27, 2010
By Amanda Ryder

July 27, 2010 – The
federal government is investing in the long-term viability and profitability of
British Columbia’s ornamental nursery industry.

July 27, 2010 – The
federal government is investing in the long-term viability and profitability of
British Columbia’s ornamental nursery industry.

Andrew Saxton, Member of Parliament for North Vancouver and Secretary of State for Agriculture & Agri-foods, announced an investment of $273,000 in the British Columbia Landscape and Nursery Association (BCLNA) to lead two projects that will help the ornamental nursery industry capitalize on opportunities and stay competitive and profitable into the future.  The announcement, made on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, was made public on July 23 at BCIT’s Great Northern Way campus in Vancouver.

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"Through their hard work and high quality products, our growers, retailers and landscapers are building a healthy environment and a healthy economy," said Saxton. "The Government of Canada is proud to invest in new ways to grow flowers and shrubs while reducing energy costs because this will help growers keep more dollars in their pockets and continue to provide customers with their high quality products."

The investment is going towards two projects. The Clean Plants Nursery Certification program ensures that participating nurseries will be the front line of defense against incoming pests, whether insect or disease; $165,391 will help growers implement its requirements.  A further $108,172 will help evaluate green roof methods, and technologies that support vegetation growth on rooftops, to improve air and water quality, and reduce energy costs. Research carried out collaboratively between BCIT and Kwantlen Polytechnic University will help the sector gain access to this quickly expanding market.

"Our industry is proactive in adapting to new technologies and anticipating the effect a changing global marketplace will have on the ornamental horticulture industry,” said Ruth Olde, President of the BCLNA. "The excellent support we receive from the Government of Canada through the CAAP program as well as the Investment Agriculture Foundation enables us to grasp new ideas and set them in motion quickly. Funding from IAF for strategic plan development has provided further encouragement and direction for future challenges ahead."

In her presentation, Olde emphasized that BCLNA members are already a significant contributor to the greening of the province, “but we are always looking for a new place to plant plants. The Green Roofs project enables us to add a new dimension and a direction—planting straight up and sideways—to create even more environmental benefits. 

“This project investigates new technologies to mitigate the effects of greenhouse gases and noise pollution by planting plants of roofs," she said.  "It represents a collaboration between educators, researchers, industry members, wrapped up nicely with matched CAAP funding from Agriculture and Agri-food Canada through the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC."
 
"These investments will help our nurseries adapt to emerging issues and seize new market opportunities," commented Stuart Wilson, chair of the B.C. Investment Agriculture Foundation (IAF).

Funding for these projects is being provided by the Government of Canada's $163-million Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program.  Eligible CAAP projects could be in areas of traceability, environment, climate change, capacity development, pests and diseases, and more.

For more information on CAAP, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/caap . To learn more about the IAF, please visit www.iafbc.com.


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