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New replant program for Okanagan fruit growers

KELOWNA – The Okanagan’s fruit industry received a boost from the Provincial Government Friday.¬†Premier Christy Clark made a funding announcement for a replant program that will help growers meet consumer demands for higher-quality fruit.¬† Clark committed $8,400,000 for the seven year program.

“It’s about providing certainty for B.C. fruit growers,” says Clark. “And making sure we continue to showcase the best tree fruits in the world, both here at home and internationally.”

Growers will be able to apply for the new funding starting April 1, 2015. It’s estimated the program will allow 600 hectares of orchards to be replanted over the next seven years and lead to 2,600 jobs.

The new program builds on the recent success of growers who replanted low-value orchards with high-demand and high-quality varieties like Ambrosia apples and late-season cherries. B.C. growers produced Canada’s second- largest tree fruit crop in 2013. Program applications and criteria will soon be available on the BC Fruit Growers Association website.

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