By Dave Harrison
April 2, 2015, Guelph, Ont. – The Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance (COHA) will access up to $2.3 million, through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)’s AgriInnovation Program, to lead a national research cluster; addressing top industry priorities, increasing competitiveness and sustainability, and creating economic growth and market expansion.
The Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Research and Innovation Cluster is comprised of industry partners and research organizations across Canada.
The Cluster is based on strategic research activities that address several of the top priorities identified in the National Strategy for Ornamental Horticulture Research and Innovation.
Specifically, this project will develop irrigation and biocontrol strategies, provide fertilization recommendations, identify market opportunities and define production techniques for new plant species.
“This AgriInnovation funding provides the very real opportunity for our industry to develop new breeds of plant material that represent the beauty and hardiness that Canada is known for around the world,” says COHA president Michael Murray.
“It also helps us proactively address growing threats to crops from environmental challenges and to improve production practices for continued growth and sustainability.”
This investment is made through the Industry-led Research and Development stream of AAFC’s AgriInnovation Program, a five-year, up to $698-million, initiative under Growing Forward 2.
Through a competitive process, the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) was selected by COHA to provide project management services to the Cluster.
“The AAC is committed to providing COHA with top-notch services in order to meet the needs and objectives of the Cluster,” says AAC chair Judy Dirksen.
“This project management opportunity is well suited to the AAC business model, which is based on providing efficient, flexible, cost effective and accountable services to Ontario’s agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products industry.”