Province announces investment in wild blueberry research and development projects

There are more than 1000 blueberry producers in Nova Scotia, with about 300 commercial growers who get most or all of their income from blueberries (Wild Blueberry Producers Association of Nova Scotia)

Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell has announced $650,000 over three years for research and development projects for Nova Scotia's wild blueberry producers.

Colwell says, "We are supporting our wild blueberry producers to help them grow their sales in domestic markets, pursue new export markets and develop new products that will bring higher prices for their berries."

The Wild Blueberry Producers Association of Nova Scotia has tested new automated equipment using lasers to sort fresh wild blueberries during a pilot project at Millen Farms in Great Village. 

Other research and development projects include consumer research, marketing, branding, and packaging initiatives.

Colwell also announced $280,000 over two years to help fund the annual Wild Blueberry Solutions Challenge.

Last year's winners were Jus Nova Agriculture Ltd. and Fundy Drinks Ltd., who developed a wild blueberry smoothie featuring plant-based protein and a wild blueberry sparkling water drink, respectively.

Government says wild blueberries are Nova Scotia's largest agriculture export at $104.4 million in 2018.