Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz was in Winnipeg this morning to announce $15 million in funding for the Canadian International Grains Institute (or Cigi.)

“The Government of Canada has been a long time funding partner of the Canadian International Grains Institute. We welcome today’s significant investment which demonstrates a continuing commitment to the work that we do on behalf of farmers and industry,” said Cigi’s new CEO JoAnne Buth. “It will enable us to promote Canadian field crops and the Canada brand for quality and consistency worldwide through our educational programs and technical training.”

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada says the investment will support Cigi’s work sharing technical knowledge with customers of Canadian crops, including “technical exchanges, new crop missions, educational programs and domestic training.”

The $15 million is coming from the five-year Agri-Marketing Program under the Growing Forward 2 framework.

Cigi also receives funding from producers through the interim check-off implemented when the Canadian Wheat Board’s single desk was eliminated in 2012. CWB was previously responsible for about 70 percent of Cigi’s funding. The grain industry has until 2017 to implement its own funding mechanism; until then, Cigi receives a check-off of $0.15 per tonne of wheat sold in Western Canada.

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