Fraser Valley/Victoria – Hazelnut trees and farms are a plenty in the Fraser Valley.
Hazelnut growers in the province are being offered help planting new trees or removing infected ones through a new intake of the Hazelnut Renewal Program.
The program is revitalizing the B.C. hazelnut sector, supporting the dedicated people working in their orchards and encouraging those looking to begin a new career in hazelnut production. Growers with planting or removal projects between April 2021 and December 2021 are eligible for this program.
“B.C.’s hazelnut industry is a hidden gem, and it’s very encouraging to see it growing steadily these past few years as a result of our hazelnut renewal program,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. “The program directly supports our growers while promoting local food security, and I look forward to seeing how these latest projects help regenerate our hazelnut orchards.”
For several years, the British Columbia hazelnut industry has been battling against eastern filbert blight (EFB), which had affected hazelnut crops in the province.
Since the program began in 2018, growers’ response has increased tree-planting areas throughout B.C. Previously more concentrated in the Lower Mainland region, hazelnut acreage has since spread to the Okanagan, Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and the Gulf Islands. Renewal programs have resulted in 38,780 new trees planted on 73.7 hectares (182 acres) and the removal of approximately 4,795 infected trees from 17.2 hectares (42.5 acres).
Applications for funding will be available between Sept. 30 and Nov. 9, 2021.