Three ON hort groups receive CAAP funding
By Brandi Cowen
At the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Niagara Falls, an announcement made on the behalf of the Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, outlined how three horticultural organizations in Ontario will be receiving almost $580,000 in funding.
The Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP) will be providing this funding to help growers address issues they have identified which restrict their ability to receive higher levels of productivity.
The three organizations pinpointed to receive this funding are the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, the Ontario Apple Growers and Seeds of Diversity Canada.
The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers will be putting their funding towards new technology to assist in the growing of new species of tomato, pepper, petunias and impatiens, four key crops of economic importance in the province. New crop genetic technology is expected to assist the industry in adapting quickly to changes in the marketplace and contribute to the long-term sustainability of the sector, meeting customer needs in a more effective manner.
The Ontario Apple Growers will be conducting a study to understand the changing consumer preferences in the province, to assist in better marketing of the produce available. This study is expected to be a key stepping stone to being able to expand acreage in the province and meet the demand for locally gown apple varieties.
Finally, the investment for Seeds of Diversity Canada will help producers control seed-borne disease on tomato farms through UV radiation, replacing prior treatments that have been prohibitively expensive or caused significant losses to seeds. While the initial investment is focused on tomato seeds, there is the potential that the technique will apply to other crop types, preventing the transmission of seed-borne diseases through a readily accessible, inexpensive, safe and easy to use technology.
The CAAP is a five-year (2009-2014), program with the objective of facilitating the agriculture, agri-food, and agri-based products sector’s ability to seize opportunities, respond to new and emerging issues and pilot solutions to new and ongoing issues in order to adapt and remain competitive.
Lisa Brodeur is a quality assurance supervisor with 360 Energy.