"The greenhouse sector provides Canadians with fresh, locally grown produce year-round and our government is proud to support this key industry," said PS Lemieux. "This investment will contribute to the health and sustainability of the sector by helping to improve production capacity and product quality."
Parliamentary Secretary Pierre Lemieux
OGVG is a not-for-profit organization that represents all greenhouse tomato, pepper, and cucumber growers in Ontario-approximately 220 in total. This investment will help to develop new products and practices to enhance the competitiveness of the greenhouse sector. Research will focus on improving the year-round production of greenhouse cucumber, pepper, and tomato crops, including improvements to yield and produce quality. The project will also enhance the environmentally sustainable practices of greenhouse production.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) researchers will collaborate on many of these projects, such as developing effective ways to guard against pests and diseases using biological control programs and ways to detect viruses in tomato and pepper crops.
"We would like to express our sincere gratitude to AAFC for their support. This project will drive the efficient production of year-round high-quality produce, which will allow our farmers to effectively compete in the global market and to continue to prosper and contribute to the Canadian economy," said Don Taylor, Chair of OGVG. "Adoption of the anticipated project outcomes by even 10 per cent of Ontario greenhouse vegetable farmers will result in a $20 million annual boost to the sector."
The AgriInnovation Program is a five-year, up to $698-million initiative under the Growing Forward 2 policy framework. The Industry-led Research and Development Stream supports pre-commercialization research, development, and knowledge transfer leading to innovative agriculture, agri-food, and agri-based practices, processes, and products. The terms of this investment are subject to the signing of contribution and collaboration agreements.
The new Growing Forward 2 policy framework, which came into effect on April 1, 2013, will continue to drive innovation and long-term growth in Canada. In addition to a generous suite of business risk management programs, governments have agreed to invest more than $3 billion over five years in innovation, competitiveness, and market development.
For more information on the Growing Forward 2 agreement and the AgriInnovation Program, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/growingforward2.