Agriculture minister Gerry Ritz and member of parliament Scott Armstrong were in Truro, Nova Scotia, today to announce an investment of $8 million for the Organic Federation of Canada (OFC) to lead an organic science cluster aimed at helping “the sector respond to market demand and capture new opportunities,” according to a press release.
Two hundred collaborating scientists will work on several priorities, the release says, including: crop breeding for improved cultivars; developing new reduced tillage systems for organic crops; enhancing soil to improve plant health; and developing new approaches to manage crop pests, diseases and livestock parasites.
“The Canadian organic sector continues to grow at an impressive rate. Investments like this in research and development span the entire value chain, from production through to the consumer, and support the competitiveness, growth and prosperity of the organic sector and our overall economy,” says agriculture minister Ritz.
The cluster will focus on “cutting-edge research and development that will improve the organic sector’s competitiveness, market potential, adaptability and sustainability.” This will be accomplished through a series of activities focused on expanding organic production in response to market demand for hops, sprouts, ornamental potted plants and poultry.