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Ontario Invests Over $1.8 Million in Niagara for Agri-Food Innovation

Vineland – Today, Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West, announced the Ontario government is investing over $1.8 million through the Agri-Tech Innovation Program in 20 projects across Niagara. This is part of a $22 million province wide investment to help the agri-food sector implement new and unique ways to set businesses up for future growth and success while strengthening the food supply chain, creating safer workplaces and making operations more resilient to future disruptions.

“This is a critical investment for a number of farm families across our region,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West.

“Raised on a local farm, I understand the long hours and hard work it takes to produce safe and high-quality food.”

This investment will support the adoption of new advanced technology that improves the productivity of farmers and agri-food processing businesses, address the labour shortage, and support the long-term sustainability and growth of the sector.

“Adapting innovation and technology is key to the success of our agri-food sector,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

“This is why we’re investing in innovations that will build a stronger, more resilient sector for years to come. From research to farm production, to food processing, adopting new technologies will help strengthen our food supply chain, create new market opportunities and strengthens the economy.”

“Ontario accounts for over one-quarter of all Canada’s farms, and the Town of Lincoln has the highest number of farms in the Niagara Region,” said Sandra Easton, Mayor of the Town of Lincoln.

“Today’s investment will improve current systems, create new opportunities while encouraging growth and sustainability in the agricultural sector.”

“The Ontario grape and wine industry is a prime example of what investment in innovation can achieve, said Bill Schenk, Vice-Chair of the Grape Growers of Ontario.

“This year we celebrate 75 years as an organization, and throughout the decades, innovation has been a key driver in our success. Every 1% growth of VQA wine sales is $168 million of economic value to the Province of Ontario – a truly Ontario grown and made in value added industry.”

“It is important that this value-added funding was made available to growers in Niagara, and we thank the provincial government for their support,” said Jessica Solanki, Assistant Vineyard Manager of Huebel Grapes Estates.

“With this funding, we can ensure Niagara remains a competitive industry leader in the agri-tech sector and ensure its sustainability for the next generation.”