Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food have announced the creation of a blueberry teaching and research farm in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec.
The experimental blueberry farm will be established on land managed by the Corporation d’aménagement Forêt Normandin, the organization that will supervise the work in the Regional County Municipality (RCM) of Maria-Chapdelaine. This easily accessible location is representative of the blueberry farms in the region, according to a press release from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
“With some 30,000 hectares in operation, the blueberry production is second in importance in terms of farm income in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. It is therefore an important economic activity for our region. Today I am proud to announce this project that our government committed to achieve a year ago at the Economic Summit. Allowing the blueberry industry to implement short- and long-term research projects will increase the competitiveness of our regional companies,” says Philippe Couillard, Premier of Quebec and MNA for Roberval.
“This research and teaching project is a great example of an initiative that promotes the agricultural potential of a region in order to benefit producers, processors, consumers and even students. The development and operation of this facility are well aligned with government policy and with the approach set out in the strategic plan for Quebec’s wild blueberry sector,” adds Pierre Paradis, Quebec Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
Financial assistance of $42,600 will be granted through the Programme de développement sectoriel (PDS), a sectoral development program implemented by the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food under the Canada-Quebec Growing Forward 2 agreement.
“Canada is the world’s largest producer of wild blueberries. The federal government is proud to support the creation of a blueberry teaching and research farm that will help the sector improve its competitiveness and meet growing consumer demand for safe, high-quality products. Combining teaching and research will have an impact on the transfer of knowledge from producers and the next generation,” says Denis Lemieux, Member of Parliament Chicoutimi – Le Fjord.