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The Globe and Mail

B.C. NDP promises $24-million to grow local agriculture industry

British Columbia NDP Leader Adrian Dix tosses an apple in the air during a campaign stop at Sidhu Orchards in Lake Country, B.C., on Sunday April 21, 2013.


NDP Leader Adrian Dix stood in an apple orchard in the Okanagan riding of Liberal Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick today to announce a $24-million plan for the province's agriculture industry.

Orchardists from the Okanagan handed out slices of locally grown Ambrosia apples to the gathering.

Dix says the three-year program will add $8-million annually to British Columbia's agriculture budget to help grow, feed and buy B.C. products.

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Dix says Feed BC involves increasing the amount of locally grown foods served at B.C. hospitals, while Grow BC helps orchardists replant their orchards.

He says Buy BC expands a B.C. fruit and food marketing program eliminated by the Liberals in 2001.

B.C. Fruit Growers' Association President Jeet Dukhia says Dix's plans are a step forward for orchardists, especially the support for replanting and renewing orchards.

Dix also says he will cut provincial liquor branch mark-ups on B.C. craft distilled drink products to lower their prices in an effort to attract more customers.

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