“Investing in innovation helps set the table for B.C.’s agricultural sectors to compete in domestic and global markets and prosper in the future,” said Ben Stewart, minister of Agriculture. “Right now there is a global spotlight on agriculture and our producers and processors are actively testing new ideas and continually improving their businesses to help keep B.C. on the cutting edge of innovation.”
The innovation arm of the Growing Forward Agreement lends itself to a long list of government and industry joint projects, such as the $2.04-million Innovation and Commercialization Centre, which will serve as a resource site to promote product development within the industry by linking businesses and organizations with service and technology suppliers.
Other initiatives include encouraging and developing high-efficiency, low-waste manufacturing processes; helping producers and processors identify and realize opportunities for biomass use in bioenergy and nutraceuticals; building enhanced B.C. product quality assessments; encouraging the development of premium products and planning a series of agriculture innovation forums.
These initiatives are all part of a five-year Growing Forward Agreement that ends in 2013. It includes a total of $475 million in federal and provincial support to the B.C. agricultural sector for income stability and insurance against losses. An additional $78 million is being invested in programs to help farmers and other industry workers build profitability.
For more information on the Growing Forward Agreement, click here.