In a statement, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada says it has made an investment of almost $500,000 to the Ontario Hazelnut Association (OHA) “to help develop the hazelnut industry.”
Peter Fragiskatos, Member of Parliament for London North Centre, says “Launching a hazelnut industry in Ontario is good news for our farmers, our consumers and our economy. This investment is part of our Government’s plan to support a strong and diverse agri-food sector in Ontario, in order to create good jobs and grow the middle class.”
The investment will help the OHA develop orchard management practices “to enhance early development of hazelnut trees, develop strategies to mitigate drought stress in nursery trees and establish production techniques to multiply hazelnut plants for commercial use.”
The OHA has welcomed the news of the investment, saying in the statement that research so far has helped develop new innovations in micropropagation, variety selection, and orchard management.
Linda Grimo, chair of the OHA, says, “This new crop has enormous potential for Ontario and this support has brought us much closer to realizing our goal of establishing 10,000 hectares in the province by 2027 and creating new economic opportunities for rural communities. We are grateful for our partnerships with the federal and provincial government, the University of Guelph, and Ferrero Canada. We are very proud of the work the University of Guelph has been doing and look forward to future collaborations with both the University of Guelph and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.”
AAFC has partnered with the University of Guelph and Ferrero Canada to work on the project.