Victoria – British Columbia’s agri-food industry is receiving more than $1.5 million for 17 new projects that support a broad range of innovative products, practices and technologies of direct benefit to the sector.

The projects announced today include:

  • Testing the feasibility of a small scale micro-malting facility to produce local custom malted grains for the growing B.C. craft brewing and distilling industries.
  • Investigating the potential of earwigs as a biological control of several important insect pests in apple orchards in the Okanagan and Similkameen.
  • Developing a specialized grinder that will crush raw ungulate bone into a dry bone powder. There is a demand for bone powder in the pet food and supplement markets.

The funding comes from the Governments of Canada and British Columbia’s commitment under the Growing Forward 2 agreement to provide up to $13.4 million between 2013 and 2018 through the Canada-B.C. Agri-Innovation Program. Projects funded through the program must have the potential to lead to the commercialization and/or adoption of innovative products, technologies and practices. So far, 80 projects have shared more than $7 million in funding.

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 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: http://iafbc.ca/agri-innovation.htm

Gerry Ritz, Federal Agriculture Minister –

“Canada’s agricultural industry continues to thrive and compete in the global marketplace. These diverse projects will undoubtedly play a significant role in ensuring that innovation continues to bring immense benefits to the industry.”

Norm Letnick, B.C. Minister of Agriculture –

“By supporting innovation, we are assisting the B.C. agriculture sector in maintaining their competitive edge. This funding directly supports projects that can result in sector-wide benefits, so together we can continue to grow our industry.”

Ken Bates, Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C. board chair –

“The Canada-B.C. Agri-Innovation program funds projects that are looking for operable solutions to the issues facing agriculture. This is a program focused on creating better opportunities for B.C.’s farmers and food processors and increasing our ability to compete as we look to the future.”

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