Vineland programs given Growing Forward 2 boost

July 31, 2014
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July 31, 2014, Vineland Station, Ont. — The federal government is making investments totalling over $2.5 million in a pair of programs at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre.

• Some $1.4 million is being used to modernize Vineland’s rose breeding program using state-of-the-art DNA fingerprinting technology to develop cold hardy, black spot-resistant rose varieties.

These new varieties will prevent potential losses due to cold and diseases, giving Canadian growers a competitive edge.

• Vineland will also receive over $1.1 million to help producers tap into the growing market for world crops, through research that seeks to increase seasonal field production of oriental long eggplants and okra, evaluate the use of greenhouse technologies, and develop sweet potato varieties adapted to Canadian conditions.

With an evolving consumer base in Canada and the U.S., this project will boost domestic production of exotic vegetables, leading to new opportunities for the horticultural sector.

This investment is made through the federal Industry-led Research and Development stream of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s AgriInnovation Program, a five-year, up to $698-million initiative under Growing Forward 2.

“Our government is pleased to recognize the important research being done here at Vineland to drive innovation and growth in the horticulture sector,” said Pierre Lemieux, parliamentary secretary to Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.

“We will continue to forge strong partnerships with industry to help create new opportunities for Canadian businesses and increase profits for farmers.”

Local MP Dean Allison added that the horticultural industry is a significant economic driver for Ontario. “It’s great to see Vineland continuing to give our growers a leg up on the competition with world-class research and innovative production practices.”

CEO Dr. Jim Brandle thanked Vineland’s federal government partners for their continued confidence in the centre. “This financial support enhances our research on hardy Canadian roses, sweet potatoes and world crops and supports impactful results for the industry.”

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