A total of 28 research projects focused on expanding or improving barley’s use as feed, food and malt will receive funding under a new Barley National Research Cluster, spearheaded by the Alberta Barley Commission.
Newly re-appointed federal agriculture minister Gerry Ritz was on hand last week to make the $8 million announcement.
“This is a game changer for the future of barley,” ABC chairman Matt Sawyer said in a press release. “With an investment like this, barley producers will reap the rewards of innovation for years to come.”
According to Sawyer, the Barley National Research Cluster projects aim to increase the competitiveness of the Canadian barley sector by focusing on market-driven factors that stimulate the demand for barley, while incorporating scientific advances to reduce the expenses and risks that producers face when growing barley.
The Alberta Barley Commission will work closely with the Barley Council of Canada on managing these projects. Both groups are committed to accelerating the development of all classes of barley varieties through the adoption of best practices in technology, agronomic methods, crop management, breeding and genetic techniques, as stated in a press release.
The cluster is supported under the 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 investment are subject to the signing of contribution and collaboration agreements.
For more on the barley projects and the Barley National Research Cluster, visit www.AlbertaBarley.com