Halifax, Nova Scotia, July 17, 2013 – The Government of Canada is making a substantial investment towards further enhancing the competitiveness of the canola and soybean industries in Eastern Canada, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced in Halifax today.
"Our Government is providing producers with the tools they need to grow their business and increase profitability through key investments in research and innovation," Minister Ritz said. "We are creating new opportunities for canola and soybean producers by enhancing yield and developing better disease and pest management practices."
The Eastern Canada Oilseeds Development Alliance (ECODA) is receiving an investment of up to $3.3 million from the AgriInnovation Program’s industry-led research and development stream under Growing Forward 2 to conduct research focused on increasing the successful and profitable production of high-quality canola and food-grade soybeans on eastern Canadian farms. This project builds on a previous investment of $3.1 million under the first Growing Forward’s Developing Innovative Agri-Products and $747,000 under the Agricultural Innovation Program. These previous investments helped develop new varieties of canola and soybean and expand market opportunities.
ECODA is a not-for-profit organization based in Charlottetown, P.E.I., that works with producers, processors, exporters, researchers and governments to increase the economic value and export potential of the canola and soybean industries in Eastern Canada. One of the Alliance’s objectives is to make Eastern Canada a bigger player in the European and Japanese markets for food-grade soybeans and in producing high-quality canola to supply Canadian and international markets.
This investment will support what industry has identified as the highest priority research, performed by the best experts, including Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) scientists.
"The ECODA model is focused on gaining international market share by linking growers, processors and exporters to the scientific research they need to win on competitiveness, productivity and uniqueness in those markets," said Rory Francis, President of ECODA. "We want to thank Minister Ritz and AAFC for seeing the huge value in supporting research initiatives that facilitate the creation of effective supply chains that provide immediate returns to the Canadian economy."
The AgriInnovation Program is a five-year, up to $698-million initiative under the Growing Forward 2 framework. The industry-led research and development stream supports pre-commercialization research, development and knowledge transfer leading to innovative agriculture, agri-food and agri-based practices, processes and products.
Growing Forward 2 is a renewed commitment by the federal, provincial and territorial governments to ensure productivity and profitability for Canada’s agricultural sector. With a focus on innovation, competitiveness and market development, Growing Forward 2 programs will help the industry seize future opportunities and realize its full potential as a major driver of the Canadian economy. For more information on the national Growing Forward 2 initiatives, visit agriculture.canada.ca/GrowingForward2.
For more information, media may contact:
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
ECODA Project Manager