Projects introducing new technology to the Okanagan’s tree fruit industry are receiving funds.
Coral Beach Farms in Lake Country will get $35,000 from the provincial and federal governments for a software program that will automate the sorting of stemless cherries.
“This new technology enables us to target specific packs of cherries to specific markets in a very cost effective manner,” said David Geen, Coral Beach Farms president.
The automatic sorting of cherries with and without stems will help the sector take advantage of higher-value export markets that pay a premium for stemmed cherries, leading to increased profitability for farmers.
The Okanagan Kootenay Cherry Growers’ Association is receiving $21,000 for two spotted wing drosophila larvae management projects.
There is also $19,200 for the B.C. Fruit Growers Association research and development test orchard to create quality standards that all cherry-packing organizations can use for their domestic and export markets.
“These projects and leading-edge technologies will increase profitability and ensure that the region’s producers remain industry leaders on the domestic and international stage,” said Ron Cannan, Kelowna-Lake Country MP.
“The B.C. government has been working with industry to focus on innovation and technology as we look at ways to expand their product line and markets,” added Norm Letnick, B.C. agriculture minister.