The Abbotsford Community Foundation (ACF) has awarded a total of $88,500 from its 2020 Agricultural Enhancement Grants to two local farming initiatives.
Eleos Robotics Inc. received $50,000, while the Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association received $38,500.
Eleos Robotics will use the funds towards it RoboWeeder, a robot that controls weeds for the grower without the use of herbicides. It patrols crops day and night to detect the weeds and does not require supervision.
The Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association will use the funds for “economic tools for innovation in raspberry breeding.”
The project takes an innovative approach to breeding new raspberry cultivars “by bringing together economic analysis and measurements of trait heritability from classical genetics to develop a better understanding of the economic value of specific plant and fruit characteristics and the feasibility of selecting for them through breeding.”
The association says that these new varieties will improve the profitability of the raspberry industry for more than 100 Fraser Valley growers.
The industry is currently struggling because of high production costs and competition from global supply chains, the association states.
A presentation of the grants was held at each farm location and a short video summary of the projects is available for viewing on the ACF website.
Each of the recipients was given the opportunity to provide an overview of their project and the expected outcomes.
The Agricultural Enhancement Grants have been presented annually by ACF since 2013.
They are given to initiatives that demonstrate agriculture innovation with a technology focus, including research and development, that will benefit the agriculture industry overall.
A total of $800,000 has been presented over the last seven years.
For more information, visit abbotsfordcf.org or call 604-850-3755.