HOWDEN, MANITOBA--(Marketwired - Jul 22, 2013) - Canadian canola growers will benefit from a substantial new investment in research and innovation by the Harper Government. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced today a Growing Forward 2 investment in the Canola Council of Canada to lead a research cluster focused on enhancing the sustainability and competitiveness of the canola industry.
"Canada's oilseed industry continues to be an important economic driver and research and development in this area is crucial to keeping the sector ahead of the curve," said Minister Ritz. "This project will create new opportunities for growers by helping to increase their productivity and profitability, while expanding their market opportunities."
The investment of $15 million will bring together scientific expertise for research into key areas such as canola oil and meal nutrition and production. One objective will be to increase the value of canola oil by showcasing its health benefits. The research will build on an earlier investment of $14.5 million made through Growing Forward that included preliminary research suggesting canola oil may be helpful in fighting obesity and cardiovascular disease.
"Investment in innovation has driven incredible growth in the canola industry, from increasing sustainable production and value-added processing in Canada to uncovering the health benefits of canola oil and feed value of meal," says Patti Miller, Canola Council of Canada President. "We truly appreciate this investment by the government. Ensuring that our entire value chain has access to the latest technology, and that our customers understand the full value of our products, means that canola will continue to make a significant contribution to economic growth in Canada."
Strong partnerships exist between industry, academia and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) scientists. AAFC researchers will collaborate on several priorities including new uses of canola in animal feed diets, ways to maximize production and resistance to stresses, strategies for pest management and disease resistance as well as improving the economic and environmental sustainability of canola production.
Canadian-grown canola contributed $8.2 billion to the economy in farm cash receipts in 2012 and was the largest agricultural export sector, contributing $8.6 billion in seed and oil sales to key global markets. Ensuring this industry remains strong and competitive benefits all Canadians through improved health, food security and job creation.
Support for the Cluster comes from the Growing Forward 2 AgriInnovation Program, a five-year initiative of up to $698 million that is designed to serve as a catalyst for innovation by supporting research, development, commercialization, and adoption of innovative products, technologies, and services. The terms of this Cluster investment are subject to the signing of contribution and collaboration agreements.
The new Growing Forward 2 policy framework, which came into effect on April 1, 2013, will continue to drive innovation and long-term growth in Canada. In addition to a generous suite of business risk management programs, governments have agreed to invest more than $3 billion over five years in innovation, competitiveness, and market development.
For more information on the Growing Forward 2 agreement and the AgriInnovation Program, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/growingforward2.