Canola Council receives $9 million through Sustainable Canadian Agriculture Partnership for canola research cluster

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Federal minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Lawrence MacAulay, was at the Bruce Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre at Glenlea, Man. today to announce up to $9 million for the Canola Council of Canada (CCC) to administer the canola research cluster under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership — the five-year ag policy framework that launched in April 2023.

The goal of the canola cluster is to sustainably increase Canada’s canola productivity, help the canola sector meet rising global demands and improve Canada’a global competitiveness, says AAFC.

The federal funding will be combined with contributions from Alberta Canola, SaskCanola, Manitoba Canola Growers, the Ontario Canola Growers Association and industry for a total investment exceeding $17 million over the next five years in 17 projects that will be carried out in collaboration with public research institutions across Canada.

“Canola is a story of innovation, and research partnerships are critical to unlocking canola’s continued success. This research will help the sector address new and evolving agronomic challenges, drive further resilience and growth, and build on canola’s strong contribution as a climate solutions provider,” says Chris Davison, president and CEO of the Canola Council.

To achieve these objectives, the CCC will use the funds to focus on work in three priority areas:

  • Research on sustainable and reliable supply;
  • Increasing value; and,
  • Ensuring stable and open trade.

This will also contribute to reducing GHG emissions, increasing carbon sequestration, improving soil and water quality, and enhancing biodiversity, says AAFC in a press release.

“The global demand for Canadian canola seed, oil and meal is growing, and we’re committed to helping the sector meet these demands and establish new markets. This new investment in research and innovation is vitally important to ensuring our Canadian canola farmers have a sustainable and profitable future,” says MacAulay.

“Alberta Canola, SaskCanola and the Manitoba Canola Growers are committed to innovation, investing nearly $3.5 million over five years in the Canola AgriScience Cluster,” says Charles Fossay, canola grower from Starbuck, Manitoba and chair of Manitoba Canola Growers’ research committee. “This research will help us confront recent production challenges, increase yields and further canola’s contribution as a climate solutions provider.”

The AgriScience Program, under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, aims to accelerate innovation by providing funding and support for pre-commercial science activities and research that benefits the agriculture and agri-food sector, and Canadians. The Clusters Component, under the AgriScience Program, supports projects intended to mobilize industry, government and academia through partnerships and address priority national themes and horizontal issues.

MacAulay announced funding for the last five-year canola cluster at the same venue south of Winnipeg in 2018.

Federal funding for the canola cluster has declined over the past decade. The cluster received $12.1 million from the federal government as part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership in 2018. The previous five-year framework — Growing Forward 2 — included $15 million for the canola research cluster.

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