Saskatchewan Pulse Growers has reached a five year, nearly $23 million pulse crop breeding deal with the Crop Development Centre at the University of Saskatchewan.
The arrangement, which spans from 2015-16 to 2019-20, fulfills the third five-year term in SPG’s 15-year breeding deal with the CDC, focused on developing new varieties of peas, lentils, chickpeas, dry beans and faba beans.
“We believe the CDC pulse breeding program is the most successful in the world,” says Carl Potts, executive director with Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, in a statement. “Canada now has a dominant share of global trade in lentils and peas. Our investment in CDC will help to realize our goal of at least one pulse crop for every acre in the province by realizing further gains in other pulses such as chickpea and faba bean.”
SPG has provided funding to the CDC breeding program since 1997, receiving exclusive commercialization rights in exchange. The current 15-year agreement was signed in 2005, with funding totalling $6.2 million for the first five-year term and $9.2 million for the second.
“The CDC is pleased to be continuing our partnership with SPG through the next five-year term,” noted Kofi Agblor, managing director at the CDC. “This significant increase in funding from SPG will support plant breeder’s work on a long-term basis, ensuring they are able to deliver on the agronomic and end-use attributes that are most important to Saskatchewan farmers through innovative plant breeding. The University of Saskatchewan will continue to contribute significant infrastructure and other in-kind resources towards pulse crop breeding, while maintaining royalty-free commercialization of arising varieties to Saskatchewan producers during the term of this agreement.”
Statistics Canada is estimating more than 7 million acres of pulses were seeded in Saskatchewan this spring.