Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

May 29, 2009 16:02 ET

Harper Government Invests in Cutting Edge Science and Innovation to Help Canadian Farmers

LACOMBE, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - May 29, 2009) - The Government of Canada is helping Canadian farmers turn new ideas and technologies into viable market opportunities for Canadian farmers. The Growing Canadian Agri-Innovations Program will invest $158 million to support industry-led innovation initiatives that help get new agricultural products into the marketplace and improve agricultural processes.

"We are always listening to farmers and we're helping farmers put more black ink on the bottom line by bringing new products to new markets," said the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture. "For example, future demand for canola is increasing and that means we have to start researching new crop rotations and production processes to make sure Canadian farmers can make the most of growing opportunities".

"This program will accelerate the innovation needed to bring more products to market in less time," said the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture). "We're maximizing the impact of the Government's investments in science and innovation by focusing on Canada's agricultural strengths and attracting industry investment."

When Canadian farmers, food processors and researchers have innovative ideas for new products and production methods, this initiative will deliver key investments to help them take these ideas from the drawing board to the marketplace. The Government will also work with farm leaders and experts to analyze potential future trends in consumer demands and technologies to ensure Canadian agriculture is well placed to make the most of new opportunities. New ideas depend on new investments from the private sector and this program will help farmers and processors build strong business cases to attract that vital support.

The Growing Canadian Agri-Innovations Program will be delivered nationally by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada as part of the federal commitment to Growing Forward. Growing Forward is a new framework for support to Canada's agricultural sector that's focused on achieving results, reflects input from across the sector, and will deliver programs that are simpler, more effective and tailored to local needs.

"Farmers rely on innovation to build their businesses," said Member of Parliament Blaine Calkins (Wetaskiwin). "These initiatives will support the innovation process at key points to ensure that new products make it to market."

"This is an important step toward boosting local economies, creating jobs and providing farmers with an additional revenue source," said Member of Parliament Earl Dreeshen (Red Deer). "We are going to see the results of these investments as new uses are developed for the agricultural crops grown right around here and across the country."

For additional information about the Growing Canadian Agri-Innovations Program or about Growing Forward, please see the attached backgrounder or visit


Growing Canadian Agri-Innovations

The Growing Canadian Agri-Innovations Program will invest $158 million in the following four initiatives to build an innovative and competitive agricultural sector by encouraging industry leadership and investment in agricultural science and innovation. This funding is in addition to the Government of Canada's $800 million share of the total federal-provincial-territorial Growing Forward funding of $1.3 billion.

These initiatives will be delivered by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Agri-Science Clusters will bring together industry, academic and government expertise to address new opportunities to make agriculture more profitable and competitive. These Clusters will bring new products, practices and processes closer to the market by supporting research and development activities.

Developing Innovative Agri-Products will support industry-led projects that bridge the gap between ideas and discoveries and products in the marketplace. These investments will help create new economic opportunities for farmers, businesses and communities.

Agri-Foresight will help the agricultural sector anticipate possible challenges and opportunities. Participants will identify the strengths, weaknesses and gaps in the agriculture sector, and will develop strategies to react to these issues and create new opportunities and greater future profitability for farmers and the agricultural sector.

Promoting Agri-Based Investment Opportunities will encourage private investment in the development of agricultural products and processes by creating networks of investors and business-people.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Meagan Murdoch
    Press Secretary