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Kelowna  

New Okanagan boom crop

For decades, Okanagan agriculture has been driven largely by its famous apple orchards. However, a growing portion of the valley’s agricultural land is being given over to a new crop, and all indications are that it's set to grow rapidly over the next few years.

Cherry orchards are popping up across the valley, as farmers look to cash in on a near-insatiable international demand.

As the total amount of farmland in the Okanagan steadily shrinks, the amount of land planted with cherries has grown by nearly 30 per cent – and will only go up in coming years.

The growth today is being driven by huge demand from China and elsewhere, but can be traced back to the late 1980s, when researchers created new varieties that allowed Okanagan farmers to corner an untapped section of the market.

For more on how those varieties transformed the region's cherry industry, as well as exactly how much bigger the industry will get in the next five years, check out the full story on Castanet's sister website, Okanagan Edge.



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