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BCFGA Convention
Glen Lucas, centre,
general manager of the
B.C. Fruit Growers’
Association, with retired
entomologist Hugh
Philip, left, and Dr. Gary
Judd, from the Pacific
Agri-food Research
Centre, during January’s
BCFGA convention.
Big boost for R&D
New program to bolster agricultural
development,” and said fruit growers are one group he is
problem-solving and innovation;
already working with to identify projects under the new
industry urged to get on it right away.
a “re-profiling” of research work currently under way.
Projects could be larger than $1 million, and could involve
By Judie Steeves
January, Dr. Gary Judd from the Pacific Agri-food Research
At the B.C. Fruit Growers’ Association convention in
Centre in Summerland spoke passionately about this
eginning April 1, a new four-year program under
opportunity, but said industry must make the pitch to get
Growing Forward will provide millions of dollars for
the money—right when the program begins in April.
with matching funding from other sources.
scientific agricultural research, guided by industry, and
instituting the Sterile Insect Release program, which
He noted that fruit growers have been progressive in
addresses consumer concerns about food safety, carbon
priorities which can get industry ahead in a short period of
The program will focus on areas of research with specific
footprints, the 100-mile diet and food security.
time, involving clusters of scientists working on a problem or
area of innovation.
health, climate change and crop protection, and it’s
Now producers are looking at eco-branding, water use, soil
important to gather all those interests and concerns together
but could involve colleges and universities as well, explained
The research will not necessarily be all at federal facilities,
in one single, area-wide environment stewardship program.
Dr. Stephen Morgan Jones, director-general, science
partnerships directorate in the federal agriculture ministry.
producing the ‘greenest’ fruit around—then you should take
“If you’re passionate about the industry and you’re
advantage of it,” he advised growers.
He called this “significant new money for research and
Judd said he works with orchardists in Washington and
British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Spring 2009
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