Replant program gets boost to help Okanagan farmers

Funding for tree fruit replant projects in 2016 is now available to help tree fruit growers replant their orchards

  • Thu Oct 15th, 2015 1:00pm
  • News

B.C. government funding for tree fruit replant projects in 2016 is now available to help tree fruit growers replant their orchards with high-value, high-quality fruit varieties, and increase the value of their sales.

Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick made the announcement today while visiting Boparai Orchards in Kelowna. The apple orchard successfully replanted Ambrosia and Honeycrisp varieties this past summer and the small trees are starting to grow on the property.

“The B.C. treefruit industry asked for a long-term replant program and the B.C. government delivered it. The funding is available now and it provides employment and business opportunities for B.C. growers while ensuring British Columbians have access to fresh and local foods,” said Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick.

The funding is part of the B.C. government’s $8.4-million seven-year tree fruit replant program announced by Premier Christy Clark and Letnick in November 2014. The program will result in an estimated 1,500 acres of orchards being replanted by 2021, and about 2,600 jobs each year for the Okanagan.

“Replant is critical to the future of our industry as we need to produce high quality, new varieties of tree fruit to compete locally and to seize export opportunities,” said BC Fruit Growers’ Association president Fred Steele.

We appreciate the B.C. government’s early launch of the second year of the replant program and their investment in the renewal of B.C. orchards that is critical to the future of Okanagan tree fruit farms.”

B.C. growers produced Canada’s second largest tree fruit crop in 2014, including more than 126,000 tonnes of apples, sweet cherries, peaches, pears, plums/prunes, nectarines and apricots. The total represents nearly 30 per cent of the total Canadian production, and includes almost $105 million in farm cash receipts.

Application packages are available at: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=D188877E1CEA411B89E2A62EA9812B05