By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
Ontario is investing big bucks for the creation of a 3,700-squre-metre state-of-the-art greenhouse at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. The province is infusing $10 million towards the greenhouse that will make it the largest facility of its kind in Canada. Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs was on hand to make the announcement.
The province says that the new complex will be more than twice the size of any other research facility in the country. The research facility will be a boost for the area, as it will focus on developing new technologies aimed at helping get more local food out to the market faster.
“The Ontario government is proud to support the new greenhouse facility at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre,” Minister Leal said in a release. “Investments in research and innovation are critical to growing our horticultural sector and will create jobs in the agri-food industry across Ontario.”
Some other research areas will include developing crops that are more adaptable to Ontario weather conditions and looking at making better horticultural production systems, such as automated pest-management systems. The technology centre will also consider gaining insights from consumers to support the development of new products, like different varieties of fruits, vegetables and wine.
Jim Brandle CEO of the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre calls the new greenhouse a “significant opportunity for the horticulture industry,” adding that the facility will encourage collaboration with industry stakeholders.
The research complex will support the ongoing research already occurring at Vineland. There are plenty of recent successes, including the introduction of Pixie grapes, ornamental dwarf grape vine, and the sundown pear.
(Contributed photo: Minister Leal with the Vineland Board of Directors cutting the ribbon on the new greenhouse).
(Contributed photo: Minister Leal making the funding announcement about the new Vineland greenhouse).