Agriculture researchers in Saskatchewan are benefiting from an investment in crop research.
The federal and Saskatchewan governments jointly announced $9.1 million in funding on Tuesday for new crop-related research in the province.
Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit said the research will support 55 projects focusing on areas of importance to the province’s agriculture sector.
“Saskatchewan’s agriculture sector is uniquely well-equipped to accommodate the kind of growth we’re anticipating in the decade ahead — not simply by increasing capacity, but also through innovation driven by academic research with strong support from industry partners,” Marit said in a statement.
“Investments are only the first step; the real work is being done by researchers on a range of topics that will deliver long-term benefits for producers.”
More than $5.7 million will go to researchers at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).
Some of the research at USask involves innovations ranging from plant-based edible 3D printing and packaging to using drones for monitoring crops and soil.
“USask research continues to play a foundational role in establishing Saskatchewan’s reputation as a force in the global agricultural sector,” said Baljit Singh, USask vice-president of research.
“This investment will power discovery that builds improved food security for the world, and economic prosperity for Saskatchewan.”
Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau said the past year has been challenging for the industry.
“Canada’s crop sector has navigated a challenging year marked by extreme climate events with resilience and determination,” Bibeau said.
“Together with the government of Saskatchewan, our federal government is committed to investing in science and innovation through critical initiatives like the Agriculture Development Fund. Investing in science is essential to give our farmers the tools they need to realize our vision of a sustainable agriculture sector in Canada.”
Funding for the projects is through the province’s Agriculture Development Fund (ADF), which is supported by the Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP).
The CAP is a five-year, $3-billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen and grow Canada’s agriculture, agri-food and agri-products sectors.
Of that funding, $388 million is earmarked for investment in strategic initiatives in Saskatchewan’s agriculture sector on a 60/40 cost share between the federal and provincial governments.