Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

June 04, 2005 14:24 ET

AAFC: Agricultural Research Program Encourages Transformation Through Innovation

AYLMER, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 4, 2005) - Paul Steckle, MP for Huron-Bruce, on behalf of Andy Mitchell, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and Steve Peters, Ontario Minister of Agriculture and Food, announced today the federal and provincial governments will provide up to $35 million for the Canada-Ontario Research and Development (CORD) program. Administered by the Agricultural Adaptation Council under the federal-provincial-territorial Agricultural Policy Framework on behalf of the Province of Ontario, the initiative will support new research and development projects within Ontario's agriculture and agri-food sector.

"The Government of Canada is pleased to partner with the agri-food and research communities in ways that encourage transformation through innovation and collaboration," said Mr. Steckle. "Through CORD, the Government of Canada will invest in projects that enhance the competitiveness, self reliance and long-term prosperity of the sector."

"Strategic investments in research and development consistently yield significant returns to the agri-food industry," said Minister Peters. "As long as we continue to broaden our knowledge base through the types of projects CORD will fund, we can be confident that we are building a foundation strong enough to support growth and change in the agriculture and food sector."

"Increasing the value of our agricultural products is the key to improving our agri-food sector," said Bob Bedggood, chair of the Agricultural Adaptation Council. He added the solutions to challenges facing Canada's primary producers and downstream stakeholders are readily available, and that the CORD program will draw those innovative individuals and groups together. "Like most things in life, the difficult tasks are made easier when we work together, and CORD funding is intended to make a difference in that sense."

CORD funds can be used for a variety of initiatives that will add value to farm production, explore new processing ventures or tap previously unused resources of information or expertise. Projects must include a focus on specific opportunities or challenges facing the province's agri-food sector, enlist private sector support, demonstrate cost-sharing, address any gaps in support of research and technology transfer, and be market-oriented. The first round of projects, allocating more than $7 million to 70 research initiatives identified as priorities, has already been approved (see attached backgrounder).

"These programs encourage the innovative spirit that we know exists within our agricultural and research communities," says Bedggood, noting that CORD has a long-standing history of success in supporting funds for worthy projects. "This investment provides a timely boost, to move those ideas from where people are just thinking about them, to the point where they're putting the wheels in motion, bringing them closer to reality, and we need more of that in this province, and across the country."

A pre-approval process, which includes a review by the Ontario Agricultural Commodity Council's Research and Development Sector Committees, is in place for all applications. Projects will be assessed for the expected return on public investment, overall costs, industry support and potential benefits.

Full details on eligibility and all CORD criteria, as well as application forms, are available by visiting the Agricultural Adaptation Council website at http://www.adaptcouncil.org, or by contacting the AAC office at 519-822-7554. Funds from the CORD program will be available until March 31, 2008.

A backgrounder is available on CCNMatthews' website at the following address: http://www2.ccnmatthews.com/database/fax/2000/AGRA0604.pdf

Contact Information

  • Agricultural Adaptation Council
    Nadine Buitenhuis
    Communications Coordinator
    519-822-7554
    519-822-6248 (FAX)
    nadine@adaptcouncil.org
    or
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa
    Media Relations
    Toll free: 1 866 345-7972
    or
    Minister Peters' office
    Susan McConnell
    Director of Communications
    (416) 326-6439
    (416) 606-8303 cell