Agriculture minister Lawrence MacAulay attended CropSphere at Saskatoon, Sask., on Tuesday where he announced funding for four new science clusters. The clusters will represent barley, wheat, diverse field crops, and soybean, and are funded under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP). The federal government will invest $39.3 million and along with $28.4 million in contributions from industry, will total $67.7 million.
According to the news release, the new clusters will be defined as:
- The Barley Cluster ($6.3 million) aims to improve productivity in the science and technology of using barley for food, and increase disease resistance. The Cluster will be led by the Barley Council of Canada.
- The Diverse Field Crop Cluster ($13.7 million) focusses on variety development, crop protection, production agronomy, and value added practices to support diverse crop growth. The Cluster will be led by Ag-West Bio Inc.
- The Wheat Cluster ($13.9 million) aims to deliver higher-yielding wheat varieties to producers, and to develop the next generation of fusarium head blight resistant varieties. The Cluster will be led by the Canadian Wheat Research Coalition.
- The Soybean Cluster ($5.4 million) will help Canadian soybean crops become more resilient and productive, increase the geographic range for growing crops, and benefit the environment. The Cluster will be led by the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance.
Funding will be over the next five years.
“The government of Canada is proud to work side-by-side with industry to help keep the Canadian field crops sector on the cutting edge. Demand for our field crops continues to grow and these investments in innovation and research will help position our farmers to grow top quality products sustainably, while meeting consumer demands at home and abroad for years to come.”
– Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
“Crop diversity is essential for keeping Canada’s agricultural ecosystem healthy and productive. The Diverse Field Crops Cluster research will develop these high-potential crops, and the markets to go with them. Farmers will have more high-value crops to choose from. The Diverse Field Crop Cluster will deliver both economic and environmental benefits for Canada.”
– Mike Cey, Ag-West Bio Director of Corporate Initiatives
Listen below to Minister Lawrence MacAulay as he spoke with reporters after the announcement.