Federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay was in Saskatoon on Tuesday to announce over $18 million dollars in funding over the next 5 years.
$11.1 million in funding comes out of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AgriScience Clusters, with another $7.2 million dollars from the pulse sector.
MacAulay says the Pulse Sector is vitally important.
“This is one of the areas that the Pulse industry is able to access funds for research, innovation and development, with the Superclusters too is another area that they can access funds. As I said, we’re going to export $75 billion dollars worth of agriculture and agri-food products by 2025, so we have to make sure we are on the cutting edge in every way and this is part of it.”
Some of the work being done by the cluster will focus on improving the productivity of new pulse crops, addressing threats to the value chain, exploring the health benefits of pulses and developing innovations in pulse ingredient processing and food product development.
The Vice President of Pulse Canada is pleased with the continued funding for research over the next 5 years.
Corey Loessin is also President of Sask Pulse and says there are a couple of high priority areas that will benefit from the funding production-related research and market diversification.
“It’s hard to differentiate which is more important. I mean often as growers we think we have this production problem we need to do something about that but we also really need to work on trade relationships, export markets, and new uses. We can produce but we have to be able to sell, and so the two go hand in hand.”
He notes Canadian pulse acreage dropped this year due to tariff and trade issues with one of Canada’s biggest markets India which shows the need to look at expanding options for Pulses such as processed foods, and even pet foods.
Indian officials are currently in Canada meeting with representatives here.