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Harper Government Supports New Opportunities for Canada's Horticulture Industry

VINELAND STATION, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 07/30/14 -- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Pierre Lemieux, Parliamentary Secretary to Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, and Dean Allison, member of Parliament for Niagara West-Glanbrook, attended an open house at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre's Victoria Farm and announced two investments worth over $2.5 million from the Government of Canada.

The Vineland Research and Innovation Centre will receive over $1.4 million to modernize its 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.

The Centre 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.

Quick Facts

--  The Vineland Research and Innovation Centre is a not-for-profit
    organization created to advance the horticultural research and
    innovation of healthy foods in an environmentally sustainable way.  
--  In 2013, the Canadian horticultural industry generated $2.4 billion in
    exports. 
--  In 2013, the Canadian nursery sector generated over $637 million, $13.5
    million of which came from exports. 
--  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. 

Quotes

"Our government is pleased to recognize the important research being done here at Vineland to drive innovation and growth in the horticulture sector. We will continue to forge strong partnerships with industry to help create new opportunities for Canadian businesses and increase profits for farmers."

- Parliamentary Secretary Pierre Lemieux

"The horticultural industry is a significant economic driver for Ontario, and 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."

- Member of Parliament Dean Allison

"We thank our federal government partners for their continued confidence in Vineland. This financial support enhances our research on hardy Canadian roses, sweet potatoes and world crops and supports impactful results for the industry."

- Dr. Jim Brandle, CEO, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

Additional links

Growing Forward 2 (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

AgriInnovation Program (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

Contacts:
Emily Hogeveen
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
613-773-1059

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972
Follow us on Twitter: @AAFC_Canada

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