Feds back market data system for hort growers

Horticulture producers in Quebec have picked up half a million dollars in federal funding to further develop a system broadcasting “market intelligence” to growers.

Quebec MP Jacques Gourde recently pledged $500,000 from the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP) for the Conseil quebecois de l’horticulture (CQH) to “validate its technology” for the system.

The funding is also expected to allow the CQH to “determine the feasibility of expanding (the system) elsewhere in Canada.”

The system is expected to provide “access to commercial and competitive intelligence that is relevant to the horticulture sector, to make Canada’s horticulture value chain more efficient.”

Growers using the system would be “able to monitor rapidly changing key market intelligence” such as prices, stocks, weather and acreage, in real time through reports available online, by email, by fax, on smart phones and through Infohort, CQH’s information collection system.

Users of Infohort would also be able to “dynamically generate custom reports,” the government said.

Producers of horticulture crops will then have access to “all kinds of strategic intelligence needed to stay competitive on local, regional, national and international levels, CQH president Andre Mousseau said in the government’s release.

The CQH’s Observatoire horticole will publish more than 600 intelligence reports a year, he said.

CAAP, which is budgeted for $163 million over five years ending in 2014, backs projects to help ag sectors “respond to new and emerging issues and pilot solutions to new and ongoing issues in order to adapt and remain competitive.”

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