Canada to invest C$4.2M aimed at boosting research for disease-resistant canola varieties in Saskatchewan

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan , September 5, 2013 (press release) – Canadian canola growers will improve their businesses through new investments in research and innovation with the support of the Harper Government. Today, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced an investment for SaskCanola for research that will help farmers across Canada increase their competitiveness.

"The canola industry is an important economic driver, and our government is working to ensure farmers and producers have the tools they need to grow their business," said Minister Ritz. "This investment will support research into disease prevention and resistance in canola, helping the sector remain profitable and sustainable."

SaskCanola works to enhance canola producers' competitiveness and profitability through research, market development, and communications activities. This investment of $4.2 million will help SaskCanola build tools that seed producers can use to produce stronger, more disease-resistant canola varieties. Specifically, research will focus on blackleg and sclerotinia disease resistance, as these diseases have the potential to cost producers significantly in terms of lost yields.

"On behalf of the Saskatchewan canola farmers, I want to acknowledge the federal government for their continued support and investment in our industry," said Joan Heath, Chair of SaskCanola. "This funding will augment existing research investments to advance the sustainable production and profitability of the Canadian canola industry."

The AgriInnovation Program is a five-year, up to $698-million initiative under the Growing Forward 2 policy framework. This program supports pre-commercialization research, development, and knowledge transfer leading to innovative agriculture, agri-food, and agri-based practices, processes, and products. 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.

For more information on the Growing Forward 2 agreement and the AgriInnovation Program, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/growingforward2.

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