Nova Scotia sends ‘orangutan’ apple to market
Nova Scotia's newest apple has just been recognized as a new variety, but there's uncertainty over the future of federal money to help market them. The new variety was developed at the federal horticulture centre in Kentville.
"It’s called an orangutan because it’s kind of orange and kind of tangy and the tree growth has long branches that kind of look like an orangutan," said research biologist Karen Burgher.
It has been tested for three decades for climate suitability, storage and taste. The next step is commercialization.
Marina Myra is overseeing evaluation trials for the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers Association. She said the market will decide.
"If they like it they will buy it and they will ask for more... I think it’s for people who like tart apples, not everybody does. It has potential to fulfill a niche," she said.
Myra said the industry is hopeful Ottawa will renew a program to help commercialize new varieties.
The agricultural adaptation program expires next March and it’s not clear what will replace it.
Since 2009 it’s brought in $4 million to Nova Scotia.
There are only six Orangutan apple trees in the world. Even if the nurseries start growing it with a licence, officials say getting the apple to the grocery store is still years away.