LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 13, 2013) - Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz today welcomed the official opening of a new $10 million state-of-the-art greenhouse facility at the Southern Crop Protection and Food Research Centre (SCPFRC). Canadian farmers stand to benefit from research focused on improving crop quality, productivity, and disease and insect resistance, to be done at a newly constructed greenhouse.
"By investing in research, we are investing in Canada's competitiveness and growth," said Minister Gerry Ritz. "Construction of the greenhouse created local jobs, and the results of the research conducted in this new facility will bring long-term benefits to Canadian farmers, industry, and the economy."
The SCPFRC, part of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) national network of research centres, conducts research on integrated pest management, bio-based products and processes, genomics and biotechnology, and soil and water quality. The new facility will triple the Centre's greenhouse capacity.
"The Centre has a long tradition of working with producers and building strong relationships with industry. Research done here will continue to lead to new technologies and better agricultural practices for farmers," said Minister Ritz. "It is a great example of how scientific advances can strengthen Canada's position in new and existing markets."
Work undertaken in the new greenhouse will help researchers identify fruit tree germplasm resistant to the plum pox virus, reduce the reliance of cereal grain crops on commercial nitrogen fertilizer, use protein-trafficking technologies to develop plant-based animal vaccines as an alternative to antibiotics, improve the nutritional quality of dry beans, and develop higher-yielding, higher-quality alfalfa cultivars for the dairy and cattle industry. Collaborating in these efforts are the University of Guelph, Western University, the Ontario Bean Producers' Marketing Board, and the Grain Farmers of Ontario, among others.
For more information about AAFC science and technology, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/science.