Fresh bunch of asparagus
Diane Finley, the Member of Parliament for Haldimand-Norfolk and Minister Responsible
for Southwestern Ontario, announced on behalf of her colleague Agriculture Minister
Gerry Ritz, that the Harper Government is investing up to $512,700 into research
to help grow local asparagus markets. This project, funded under Agriculture and
Agri-Food Canada's AgriInnovation Program, will improve the amount of asparagus,
its quality, and help in making the crops more resistant to disease.
With increased demand for "local" Ontario asparagus in recent years and proximity
to large markets in the eastern United States, new seed varieties will help to meet
the needs of the expanding industry, lower production costs and boost competitiveness
in the region.
- This non-repayable contribution will help Asparagus Farmers of Ontario develop new
hybrids that can be grown in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Saskatchewan.
- This project will provide growers with reasonably priced seeds in a timely manner,
which will improve the Canadian asparagus sector's profitability and competitiveness.
- The AgriInnovation Program is a five-year, up to $698 million initiative under the
Growing Forward 2 policy framework, and is designed to accelerate the pace of innovation
by supporting research and development activities in agri-innovations.
"Our government remains committed to our farmers and the success of the agricultural
sector. Asparagus is an extremely important crop for us in southwestern Ontario,
and this investment will help increase our competitiveness both here in Canada,
and abroad." - Diane Finley, MP for Haldimand-Norfolk, Minister responsible for
Southwestern Ontario, Minister of Public Works and Government Services
"The Asparagus Farmers of Ontario has a long-standing and productive partnership
with the University of Guelph. We have supported Dr. Dave Wolyn's asparagus breeding
program for almost two decades and the industry has benefitted greatly from the
release of Millennium, a superior cold-weather variety. The funding announced through
AAFC's AgriInnovation Fund will allow the breeding program to continue to support
a competitive Ontario asparagus industry into the future." - Bernt (Bernie) Solymár,
Executive Director of Asparagus Farmers of Ontario (AFO)
Growing Forward 2 - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)
Program - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)