Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

March 14, 2007 12:55 ET

Canada's New Government Invests $3.7 Million in Agricultural Research Projects in Saskatchewan

SWIFT CURRENT, SASKATCHEWAN--(CCNMatthews - March 14, 2007) - Mr. David Anderson, Member of Parliament for Cypress Hill-Grasslands, on behalf of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, today announced that Canada's New Government will invest $3.7 million in 27 research projects in Saskatchewan in 2007-08.

"Canada's New Government is proud to support agricultural research projects in Saskatchewan that contribute to the excellence and prosperity of our agriculture sector," said M.P. Anderson. "The Peer Review process aims to ensure that agricultural research conducted across Canada is innovative and relevant to the needs of farmers and Canadians."

"The research centres in Swift Current and Saskatoon are helping to meet the needs of a changing marketplace, as well as the expectations of Canadians and consumers around the world for the high quality and safe food Canada is known to produce," said M.P. Anderson.

Earlier this month, Minister Strahl announced the results of the external Peer Review of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (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 projects such as:

- Evaluating the impact of climate change on the production of energy crops in Western Canada;

- Enhancing capacity to conserve and utilize the genetic diversity of Canadian bioresources;

- Evaluating the impact of pesticide use on crop diseases, microbial populations and plant nutrition; and,

- Exploring areas of plant biology relevant to crop production and breeding to develop novel Brassica crops.

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