August 3, 2021
Government pledges $4 million to Ontario horticultural research projects
Vineland's Canadian Shield rose.

Over $800,000 will help to make Canadian roses more disease resistant for international markets

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada recently announced federal funding of nearly $4 million to support four horticultural research projects at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (VRIC).

Through the federal AgriScience Program, VRIC will receive up to $877,000 to help make Canadian roses more disease resistant and adaptive, so that they may reach more domestic and international markets. A further $931,000 will support the Centre’s work to discover and evaluate new biocontrol solutions to advance the research on pest management for the Canadian greenhouse sector. These projects are also supported through the AgriScience Program.

VRIC will also receive up to $1.8 million in support for it’s on-the-vine breeding program for greenhouse tomatoes, which is the first of its kind in Canada. The program focuses on developing high-yield varieties with improved flavour and production traits that are adapted to Canada’s climate.

The fourth project announced will help VRIC to lay the foundation to ramp up the conversion of horticultural waste into value-added ingredients in Canada. Up to $200,000 will be provided for the project through the Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program.

“The Government of Canada’s confidence in Vineland through investment in horticulture innovation means new varieties preferred by consumers and adapted for the Canadian climate and new crop protection solutions making better use of resources and helping the sector be more sustainable. We appreciate the continued support of our work to enhance the sector’s competitiveness and drive short- and long-term economic growth,” said Ian Potter, President and CEO, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre.

Parliamentary Secretary Neil Ellis made the announcement in Welland, Ont., (on behalf of the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food), before touring a facility alongside Chris Bittle, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

“The research being conducted at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre is laying the groundwork for a more sustainable, prosperous and competitive horticulture sector for Ontario and all of Canada," said Bittle. "These investments will drive innovation, and find solutions to boost yields and reach new markets.”

The funding builds on a March 18, 2021, announcement from the governments of Canada and Ontario of more than $330,000 to support VRIC research projects that will benefit Ontario’s greenhouse sector, which will increase capacity and productivity in the horticultural sector.

Quick facts

  • The Ontario agri-food sector supports more than 860,000 jobs in Ontario and contributes more than $47.3 billion each year to the province’s economy.
  • VRIC focuses on horticultural science and innovation for Ontario and Canada. Located in the Niagara region, Vineland facilitates, coordinates and delivers applied research, innovation and commercialization activities that benefit the horticulture sector.
  • The Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program supports projects that address national or sector-wide priorities that help industry address emerging issues and capitalize on opportunities.
  • The AgriScience Program is a five-year, $338 million initiative, to support leading edge discovery and applied science, and innovation driven by industry research priorities.
  • The Agri-Science program is part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which is a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector.

See the full announcement online.