Harper Government Investing Strategically In Canadian Canola Sector

Winnipeg, Manitoba, September 18, 2012 - Canada's canola sector will benefit from a targeted research and development plan to promote the industry's strategic growth. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced support for the Canola Council of Canada in developing a coordinated strategic plan that will lead to greater profits for canola farmers and the industry.

"Research and innovation are key in the success of the Canadian canola sector," said Minister Ritz. "Today's investment will help ensure that canola, Canada's number-one generator in farm cash receipts, will continue to innovate and meet the growing demand in new and existing markets."

The investment of more than $43,000 will allow the Canola Council of Canada to conduct extensive consultations with key partners in canola research and development to create a targeted plan for the improvement of canola germplasm based on the needs of producers, processors, and the market.

"Research is fundamental to our industry and to the profitability of our growers, but we need to make sure we get it right" said Canola Council of Canada president Patti Miller. "This funding will allow us to lead a collaborative effort to identify our research priorities and ensure that we are getting the best value from our future research investments."

Ensuring that a canola research and development strategy is focused on the needs of the sector will result in the development of varieties with desirable characteristics. These higher-value crops will boost farmers' bottom lines and benefit the industry and the Canadian economy as a whole.

Canola generates approximately $5.6 billion in farm cash receipts each year. On average, Canadian-grown canola contributes $15.4 billion to the Canadian economy, including more than 228,000 Canadian jobs and $8.2 billion in wages annually.

The Harper Government has a history of supporting the Canadian canola sector. In 2010, the Harper Government invested $14.5 million in the Canola Cluster-a group that brought together academia, industry, and government to work together more closely on the priorities of the industry. With an additional $5 million investment from the Canola Council of Canada, the Canola Cluster has seen successful results in oil nutrition research, meal nutrition research, and production research.

Today's investment is being delivered through the Agricultural Innovation Program (AIP), an up to $50 million initiative announced as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan 2011. The AIP is part of the Harper Government's commitment to help Canadian producers benefit from cutting-edge science and technology. The AIP boosts the development and commercialization of innovative new products, technologies, and processes for the agricultural sector. For more information about the AIP and other Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada programs, please visit www.agr.gc.ca.

For more information, media may contact:

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972

Jeff English
Press Secretary
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
613-773-1059

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