B.C. hazelnut growers struggling to recover from the Eastern Filbert Blight got a boost from the provincial government this week.
The Ministry of Agriculture is providing the BC Hazelnut Growers Association (BCHGA) with $300,000 over the next three years. The funding will allow growers to replace hundreds of acres of dead and diseased orchards with EFB-resistant varieties, and will further expand hazelnut acreage in B.C. with new planting.
EFB is a serious disease, commonly found in hazelnut orchards, that has affected crops throughout the province.
“Hazelnut growers in B.C. have faced major setbacks over the past decade, but this funding will help regrow and revitalize a sector that has enormous possibilities,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture.
“This announcement is a very welcome and exciting step in the re-establishment and expansion of a promising industry in British Columbia,” said Chilliwack’s Walter Esau, who is on the board of directors for the BCHGA.
“The BC Hazelnut Growers Association has worked hard over the past decade to keep a once thriving industry alive, and with the help of the B.C. government, this is being made possible. We are excited about the future of hazelnuts in B.C., and welcome any inquiries about our industry.”
More information about the Hazelnut Renewal Program can be found on the agricultural ministry’s website.