Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

March 14, 2007 12:59 ET

AAFC: Canada's New Government Invests $1.8 Million in Agricultural Research Projects in Manitoba

BRANDON, MANITOBA--(CCNMatthews - March 14, 2007) - Mr. Mervin Tweed, Member of Parliament for Brandon-Souris, on behalf of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, today announced Canada's New Government will invest $1.8 million in 13 research projects in Manitoba in 2007-08.

"Canada's New Government is pleased to invest in agricultural research projects in Manitoba, that benefit everyone-farmers, industry and all Canadians," said M.P. Tweed. "The Peer Review process will help ensure that our scientists focus on traditional areas of research while exploring new research priorities in the areas of health, the environment and the bioeconomy."

M.P. Tweed added that the research conducted in Brandon and other parts of Manitoba will contribute to the advancement of our country's agricultural sector.

Earlier this month, Minister Strahl announced the results of the external Peer Review of AAFC research proposals for 2007-08 and a federal investment of $22.1 million for 233 research projects across Canada.

The funding announced today will go to project such as:

- Developing cropping system strategies for adapting to increased aridity caused by climate change and reduced availability of fossil fuels;

- Developing value chain opportunities for Canadian flax to contribute to the health and wellness of Canadians and create economic value in Canada;

- Contributing to the genetic enhancement of wheat that promotes consumer health, protects the sustainability of the Canadian agro-ecosystem and enhances Canadian industry competitiveness; and,

- Enhancing nutrient management practices for inorganic, organic and integrated nutrient sources to improve productivity and environmental sustainability.

Canada's New Government launched the Peer Review process in 2006 to ensure future research projects are based on excellence in science, as well as the competitiveness of Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will continue to submit future proposals to external Peer Review to uphold the credibility of its science and ensure sound investment of public funds.

For more information on the results of the external peer review process, please visit the AAFC Website (www.agr.gc.ca/research-projects).

BACKGROUNDER

In May 2006, Minister Strahl announced Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) Science and Innovation Strategy which identified seven national goals and priorities to ensure AAFC's investments and efforts in science and innovation remain relevant to the agricultural sector.

The Peer Review has allowed the department to realign its research efforts and resources by submitting research project proposals to external evaluation by the scientific community prior to allocating funds.

Project proposals were submitted to four external review panels focused on plant sciences, animal sciences, environment and ecology and food sciences. The panels were composed of 38 expert scientists from organizations outside AAFC, who used preliminary evaluations from 330 external experts. Each proposal was evaluated against specific selection criteria including, assuring the best possible investment of public funds, ensuring scientific excellence, and providing international-caliber science in the agriculture and agri-food sector.

During this process, scientists were encouraged to use integrated, multi-disciplinary research projects that involved more than one scientist and included research coordination and collaboration with other government departments and agencies, academia and/or industry. In total, 233 research proposals were identified for support.

Scientists will continue to conduct research in traditional areas, while exploring new promising areas for research to help build a sustainable and competitive agriculture and agri-food sector for the 21st Century.

More information on AAFC's external Peer Review and its results are available online at www.agr.gc.ca/research-projects.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada - Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    613-759-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    or
    Minister Strahl's Office
    Conrad Bellehumeur
    Director of Communications
    613-759-1059