Fairfax, Manitoba – An over $1.8M contribution to the non-profit National Sunflower Association of Canada (NSAC) was announced today, by Member of Parliament Larry Maguire (Brandon-Souris), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and the Honourable Ron Kostyshyn, Manitoba Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. The funding will support the development of new seed varieties and boost sunflower acreage in Western Canada.
“Our government remains committed to a strong and vibrant agricultural industry and this investment will go a long way in helping our sunflower growers produce high-quality confection hybrids that can be enjoyed worldwide,” said Maguire. ” These new varieties will deliver economic benefits by expanding the sunflower growing regions in Western Canada.”
The investment is made through a combination of federal and provincial funding, with NSAC receiving over $1.2M from the federal AgriInnovation Program and $320,000 from the cost-shared Growing Innovation – Agri-Food Research and Development Initiative.
“This investment will help our producers grow new sunflower seed varieties while allowing them to capture new market opportunities, increase their bottom dollar and strengthen the sunflower industry of Canada,” said NSAC president, Gregg Fotheringham.
The sunflower varietal development supported will include disease resistance and herbicide tolerance, as well as confection sunflower hybrids adaptable to growing conditions on the Prairies.