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Canola Council Receives $15M

Canadian Canola growers will benefit from increased support for their research and development (R&D) activities thanks to a new $15 million investment under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Growing Forward 2 AgriInnovation Program.

“Canada’s oilseed industry continues to be an important economic driver and research and development in this area is crucial to keeping the sector ahead of the curve,” said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “This project will create new opportunities for growers by helping to increase their productivity and profitability, while expanding their market opportunities.”

The Canola Council of Canada will receive $15 million from the federal government to bring together scientific expertise for research into key areas, such as canola oil, and meal nutrition and production. In particular, the Council will aim to increase the value of canola oil by showcasing its health benefits. The research will be performed in collaboration between industry, academia and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientists. The private sector is also contributing $5 million to the project over five years.

“This research investment will help us make quantum leaps in sustainable production. It will allow us to continue to differentiate canola oil and meal from our competitors,” said Canola Council of Canada President Patti Miller.

This announcement builds on an earlier investment of $14.5 million made through Growing Forward that supported preliminary research suggesting canola oil may be helpful in fighting obesity and cardiovascular disease.

“Investment in innovation has driven incredible growth in the canola industry, from increasing sustainable production and value-added processing in Canada to uncovering the health benefits of canola oil and feed value of meal,” Ms. Miller said. “Ensuring that our entire value chain has access to the latest technology, and that our customers understand the full value of our products, means that canola will continue to make a significant contribution to economic growth in Canada.”

Canola farming contributed $8.2 billion to the Canadian economy in 2012, and was the largest agricultural export sector, contributing $8.6 billion in seed and oil sales to key global markets.

AgriInnovation is a $698-million program offered by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada under the new Growing Forward 2 policy framework. The program will make $468 million available for applications from industry. The remaining funds will go towards government-led research, development and knowledge transfer activities. The program is designed to accelerate the pace of innovation and commercialization by supporting R&D activities in agri-innovations.