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New projects to strengthen future for Canadian agriculture

The federal government made two announcements involving $10.2 million to support Canadian agriculture. File / Global News

SASKATOON – The federal government announced an investment totalling $10.2 million on Tuesday to support Canadian agriculture during the second annual CropSphere conference in Saskatoon. Both investments aim to increase the value of what’s being grown by the country’s farmers.

Pulse Canada will receive over $3.3 million to help increase the use of the pulses by marketing the nutritional value and generating new tools to measure the sustainability performance.

“We are pleased to accelerate the commercialization of value-added research and technology in the sector and to give producers the tools they need to better respond to emerging non-tariff barriers in foreign markets,” said Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.

Pulse Canada will receive funding under Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative for the country’s agriculture industry.

Canada provides 38 per cent of the world’s need for peas and lentils, with the majority coming from Saskatchewan.

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In 2012, Saskatchewan farmers grew 96 per cent of lentils and 70 per cent of dried peas in the country.

READ MORE: Disease affecting canola found in Canada for first time

Also on Tuesday, both the federal and provincial governments made an announcement at TCU Place for this year’s ag-research funding through the Saskatchewan Agriculture Development Fund (ADF). Funding for ADF projects is also provided under GF2.

Nearly $6.9 million is being awarded to 42 crop-related research projects, with the majority going to the University of Saskatchewan. Projects include studies to improve lentil varieties, enhance wheat midge resistance, decrease oil losses from canola dehulling and reduce the risk of pathogen contamination.

“Investments in research have long-term benefits for the agriculture industry, leading to the increased competitiveness of our industry in the global marketplace and better returns for our producers,” said Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart.

A large number of industry partners contributed $3.4 million in additional funding to the projects.  Almost two-thirds will be provided by Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF).

“We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with the federal and provincial governments in order to maximize the benefit of producer research investments,” said WGRF Board Chair Dave Sefton.

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