Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Government of Saskatchewan

Government of Saskatchewan

March 23, 2006 09:40 ET

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Funds over $3 Million for Pulse Crops

YORKTON, SASKATCHEWAN--(CCNMatthews - March 23, 2006) - The future of the Canadian pulse industry is getting a boost thanks to $3.2 million in funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) to explore new North American markets for pulse crops such as lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas.

"New and innovative uses for Canadian crops will be key to the future success of Canadian agriculture," said Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board Chuck Strahl. "The Pulse Innovation Project brings people together from government, research and industry to help build a competitive and profitable Canadian pulse industry."

The Pulse Innovation Project will create a market-driven action plan for the pulse industry that will focus on new applications for pulse crops primarily in the area of health and wellness. Pulses are high in fibre and resistant starch, as well as protein, minerals and vitamins. These nutrients offer many benefits for health and chronic disease prevention, including lower cholesterol, improved blood glucose control and weight management.

"Canada is a leader in the export of pulse crops," said Gordon Bacon, President of Pulse Canada. "This project will help us identify the role that pulse crops can play in improving the health and nutrition of Canadians and in the process create new demands for Canadian pulses."

This project also supports new partnerships in Canada's scientific and commercial agriculture communities. Other contributions to the project include major participation from Pulse Canada and Saskatchewan, and additional support from Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario.

"The pulse industry is vital to Saskatchewan, where we have more than 4 million pulse acres and over 100 special crop processors," said Mark Wartman, Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture and Food. "The Province supports the growth of the pulse industry through an annual contribution of $1.2 million to support research and development at the University of Saskatchewan. This new project has the potential to create new and high-value market opportunities for Saskatchewan pulses."

The Pulse Innovation Project will run until 2008.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa
    Media Relations
    (613) 759-7972
    1 (866) 345-7972
    Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food
    Scott Brown
    (306) 787-4031
    Pulse Canada
    Peter Watts
    (204) 925-4458