A 50-page report, prepared by Deloitte for the provincial government and titled The Path Forward: a Blueprint for B.C.'s Tree Fruit Industry, recommends that British Columbia’s provincial government should try to separate "bona fide farmers" from those who own agricultural land mainly as a way to secure significant tax benefits.
This is one of the 19 recommendations aimed at ensuring a more prosperous future for the Okanagan's fruit tree industry, a well-established sector that unfortunately is under considerable financial pressure as well.
Other suggestions in the new report are greater embrace of automation as it can be hard for farmers to find enough workers and a review of the cost-effectiveness of the longstanding Sterile Insect Release program.
There are also suggestions for a new provincial agency specifically devoted to the interests of the fruit tree industry, and more effort to ensure Okanagan-grown fruit is consistently world class.
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