Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay announced a $9.8 million partnership with the Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC).

The funding is coming through the AgriScience Program's Clusters Component, a program under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

MacAulay says agriculture creates jobs and a sense of pride in communities right across Canada.

"The Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada have demonstrated continued leadership over the past 100 years, and we will continue to support Canada's fruit and vegetable growers while building a sustainable sector for the future."

The investment will support the development of new varieties, disease management, labour cost-savings, climate resilience, and greener pesticides and energy, with a focus on apples, berries, field vegetables, greenhouse vegetables, and potatoes.

The goal is to reduce the reliance on synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, advance innovative technologies, and create new disease control technology.

Marcus Janzen, Vice President, Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada says this significant investment of $17.5 million, including AAFC's substantial $9.8 million contribution, will be a catalyst for research spanning five commodity groups.

"This program will bolster our efforts in areas such as climate change mitigation, economic development, and sector resilience. Cluster 4 is not merely funding; it's a commitment to equipping Canadian farmers with the innovative tools they need to produce world-class fruits and vegetables and ensure our sector's sustainability."

The Cluster consists of research activities that focus on the AgriScience Program priority areas: Climate Change & Environment, Economic Growth & Development, and Sector Resilience & Societal Changes.

Stats show that in 2021, the horticulture sector generated farm-gate revenues of an estimated $6.7 billion.