Canada's British Colombia government is investing C$8.4m (US$7.5m) in a tree-fruit replanting programme to help producers meet global demand for high-value and high-quality British Colombia fruit, such as its unique cherry and apple varieties, reports www.castanet.net.
An estimated 1,500 acres of orchards in the Okanagan province will be replanted over the length of the programme, which will run from 1 April 2015 to the 2021, report said.
The new programme builds on the recent success of growers who replanted low-value orchards with high-demand and high-quality varieties like Ambrosia apples and late-season cherries, said castanet.net.
“The BC Fruit growers are the heart of the South Okanagan economy and one of the founding sectors of our region,” said local politician Dan Ashton. “This programme extension ensure that growers will be able to continue to produce a wide-variety of fruits from cherries, stone fruits and unique BC apple varieties which are known around the world for their quality and exceptional taste. I encourage all local growers interested in the programme to apply.”
Another local MP, Linda Larson said: “Our government and local growers worked hard together to ensure this programme remains in place so BC fruit growers can implement long-term and sustainable tree-fruit operations on their lands. BC fruit production is a major economic driver in our region, with products grown right here in the South Okanagan, Boundary and Similkameen exported to markets in Asia, Europe and across North America. I am pleased to see this programme extended.”
BC growers produced Canada’s second largest tree fruit crop in 2013, generating almost C$103m (US$91.6m) in farm cash receipts, the report said.