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Canada pioneers wheat innovation with US$8.28M investment

Canada pioneers wheat innovation with US$8.28M investment

CANADA- The Canadian government has allocated US$8.28 million to the Canadian Wheat Research Coalition (CWRC) through the Agriculture and Agri-food Canada AgriScience Program – Clusters Component. 

This initiative, part of the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, aims to propel innovation in wheat production while ensuring sustainability and profitability.

The announcement was made by Kevin Lamoureux, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg North, during the Canadian Crops Convention in Winnipeg, underscoring the pivotal role of research and innovation in bolstering wheat production resilience.  

Research and innovation to increase wheat production resilience will ensure producers stay on the cutting edge. With this funding to the Canadian Wheat Research Coalition, scientists will be focusing on issues important for farmers to provide the best possible outcome.

Amidst a myriad of research endeavors, the CWRC will focus on exploring best management practices and leveraging new genomics tools to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, accelerate breeding processes, and enhance wheat production resilience in response to emerging threats such as pests and diseases exacerbated by climate change.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, in collaboration with Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) and other governmental bodies, is committed to fostering a green economy across the Prairie provinces. 

By supporting initiatives like the Framework to Build a Green Prairie Economy, the government aims to facilitate sustainable growth opportunities while addressing global challenges.

Canada’s wheat sector is a cornerstone of the nation’s agricultural landscape, contributing approximately 4% of the world’s total supply of wheat and durum. 

With projections indicating a wheat production of 32 million tonnes in the 2023-24 marketing year, of which 23.4 million tonnes are earmarked for export to over 70 countries, Canada remains a key player in the global wheat market.

Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, underscored the significance of investing in wheat research to meet the increasing demand for high-quality Canadian wheat worldwide. 

MacAulay praised the dedication of Canadian farmers in ensuring food security both domestically and internationally, highlighting the pivotal role of today’s investment in fortifying the wheat sector’s competitiveness and sustainability.

Established in 2017, the CWRC is a nonprofit organization governed by a farmer-led board of directors and supported by producers and private entities. The Coalition, which previously managed the Wheat Cluster, will oversee the implementation of innovative research initiatives under the guidance of an independent science advisory body.

The AgriScience Program, an integral component of the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, seeks to accelerate innovation in the agriculture and agri-food sector by providing funding and support for pre-commercial scientific activities. 

The Clusters Component specifically mobilizes industry, government, and academia to address national priorities and promote collaboration.

Jake Leguee, Chair of the Canadian Wheat Research Coalition, expressed gratitude for the government’s investment, emphasizing its critical role in advancing sustainability and economic growth within the wheat industry. 

Canadian wheat has a global reputation as a high-quality product that few countries can match,” said Jake Leguee. “Our reputation would not be possible without research funding from wheat producers and the government of Canada, which allows our talented plant breeders and scientists to create improved varieties and agronomic practices to address problems like drought, diseases and insects. This funding will bring greater sustainability to our industry while positively impacting the environment and economy.

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