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Innovative new agriculture projects receive support

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August 25, 2014 - 3:39 PM

VICTORIA - B.C.'s agrifoods industry is receiving more than $1.4 million for 17 new projects that support innovation throughout the province.

Through the Growing Forward 2 agreement, the governments of Canada and British Columbia have committed a total of $13.4 million to industry between
2013 and 2018 through the Canada-B.C. Agri-Innovation Program. In 2013-14, 36 projects have shared more than $3.3 million in funding.

The projects announced today include:

* Commercializing a system that uses dry processing technology to create food products from B.C. fruits and vegetables not sold as fresh or frozen
* The development of a specialized transfer tool to improve the success rate and accessibility of embryo transfers for commercial cattle operations and
other agricultural applications.
* Field testing several new bio-herbicides for weed control in cranberries.

Projects funded through the program must have the potential to lead to the commercialization and/or adoption of innovative products, technologies and

Eligible participants must be appropriately registered, licensed and/or certified to conduct business in British Columbia.

The Canada-B.C. Agri-Innovation Program is administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C. Additional program information and application
forms are available at:

Growing Forward 2 is a five-year agreement launched in 2013 that provides a $3-billion, federal-provincial-territorial government investment in innovation, competitiveness and market development.

The BC Jobs Plan's Agrifoods Strategy clearly states how innovation and improved competitiveness will help the agriculture sector become a $14-billion-a-year industry by 2017.

Learn More:

For information on federal Growing Forward 2 programs, visit:

Information on Growing Forward 2 programs in British Columbia is available at:


Projects funded through Growing Forward 2

Cache Creek Veterinary Hospital:
$380,000 to develop a specialized transfer tool and improve the success rate and accessibility of embryo transfers for commercial cattle operations and other agricultural applications. 

Ecoation Innovative Solutions:
$207,200 to develop technology that provides rapid and accurate detection and reporting of minute changes in crop health related to pests and diseases, as well as nutrient and water deficiencies. This supports low cost, targeted responses that minimize crop loss by pinpointing the exact location of the problem before symptoms become visible.

North of 49 Naturals:
$170,000 to refine and commercialize dehydration and dry processing technology to create nutrition and food products from grades of B.C. fruits and vegetables not sold as fresh or frozen products.

BC Cattlemen's Association:
$132,194 to establish means to deliver key research information to cattle producers and enhance traditional delivery mechanisms such as field days, workshops and seminars with webinars, videos and blogs in an effort to reach beef industry stakeholders across the province. This project is also an opportunity to provide technology training to producers to build competency and comfort with a variety of delivery mechanisms necessary for the transfer of information.

University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus:
$120,500 to investigate the insecticidal activity of unique lavender oils and expand the genetic varieties of English lavender.

UBC - Wine Research Centre:
$103,294.50 for research aimed at reducing the amount of volatile acidity in wine. The acidity can have a dramatically negative effect on the quality of the final product and is particularly problematic in ice wines. 

Enterra Feed Corporation:
$98,030 to help in the development and commercialization of a natural fertilizer as a control option for wireworms - a serious pest for growers.

Rich Naturals Inc:
$84,000 to develop a labour and energy-efficient system for drying fruits and vegetables to preserve and retain all flavour, colour, nutritional and bioactive compounds. The technology is designed for on-farm use by small growers and greenhouses.

Naturally Grown Herb and Spice Producers Co-operative (HerbPro):
$53,794 to commercialize three B.C. grown hawthorn-fruit-based product prototypes. Hawthorn fruits are famous in western herbal medicine as heart tonics and in far eastern medicine as a gastrointestinal aid. The co-operative has over 20 members in the East and West Kootenays, North Thompson and Boundary regions.   

BC Food Processors Association:
$36,605 for a pilot program, Path to Commercialization, designed for small B.C. food and beverage manufacturers that have products in the market and need help getting it to the next level.

Contech Enterprises Inc:
$31,948 to test predaceous mites as a biological control agent for varroa mites in established and package honey bee colonies. If the treatment is effective, it could replace chemical treatments for varroa mites, improve the health and performance of honey bee colonies, and reduce the potential for contamination of honey with chemical pesticides.

University of British Columbia:
$10,000 for a dairy research project looking at the effects of reproduction traits and potential impact of different management approaches.

BC Cranberry Marketing Commission:
$8,389 for a project that will field test new bio-herbicides for weed control in cranberries, and three new insecticides for efficacy against tipworm and blackheaded fireworm. 

G G McClintock:
$5,000 to research and evaluate artificial insemination in water buffalo, and develop a protocol that may help B.C. ranchers improve their herd's genetics and milk production.

BC Cranberry Marketing Commission:
$3,025 for a demonstration planting at the BC Cranberry Research Farm with data collection on actual bee visits prior to, during, and after cranberry bloom. Bumble bees and other native pollinators have been shown to provide pollination insurance for a number of crops. 

BC Cranberry Marketing Commission:
$2,500 to conduct field efficacy trials for the possibility of bringing a natural pesticide product to the market.

Carmenia Farm:
$2,138 to test thermal energy storage using eutectic salts and extending greenhouse viability.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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