Canadian govt strengthens pulse research
Jul. 30, 2013
"Canadian pulse producers play a prominent role in global markets and innovation is the cornerstone of a profitable and sustainable future for this vital sector," said Minister Ritz. "By bringing together businesses and experts to create new ideas from the lab to the marketplace, we are helping our pulse growers gain a competitive edge to capture new market opportunities and meet the demands of consumers the world over."
This investment of $15 million will support research focused on developing new pulse varieties, improving agronomic practices, responding to consumer demand for healthier foods and contributing to potential health claims linked to pulse consumption. This research cluster will also help the sector meet the growing global demand for top quality Canadian pulses and ensure the industry remains competitive and sustainable.
The cluster will support the priority research of the industry. While industry leadership and investment are key to the success of the initiative, the cluster will benefit from the expertise of scientists based in AAFC Research Centres across the country who have been at the forefront of pulse crop research for over a century, developing high-quality, disease-resistant cultivars with improved seed quality.
"The announcement reflects the strength of the partnership between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian pulse industry," said Nick Sekulic, Chair of Pulse Canada. "We look forward to building on this investment in research by partnering in every area of strategic importance for the pulse industry as we aim to drive costs out of the system and add value to our crops and the service we provide to our customers."
This research builds on an earlier investment of up to $7 million made through the first Growing Forward framework (2008-13) for a pulse research cluster designed to help improve pulse crop productivity, nutrition and rotational benefits in relation to other crops. Among other findings, this prior cluster led to the development of a lentil-based sport nutrition bar that offers metabolic benefits and enhances recovery following exercise, as well as the adoption of narrow-row dry bean production which reduces soil erosion, enhances soil quality and promotes long-term sustainability.
The Canadian pulse industry is a key driver of our economy. In 2012, pulses generated $1.7 billion in farm sales, and were Canada's third largest export crop, with close to $2 billion in exports.
Funding for the cluster comes from the AgriInnovation Program, a five-year initiative of up to $698M 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 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.
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