WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Nov. 13, 2012) - Canadian pulse and special crop farmers will benefit from increased research and product promotion with the support of the Harper Government. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced today investments that will help Pulse Canada and the Canadian Special Crops Association further explore health and nutrition claims for pulses and open new opportunities to increase exports.
"The Harper Government's top priority remains the economy, and Canada's pulse and special crops industry plays an important role in creating jobs and economic growth," said Minister Ritz. "Our investments today support the pulse and special crops industries' ongoing efforts to position Canada as a world leader by enhancing its global marketing capacity and competitiveness."
Pulse Canada will receive more than $615,000 through the Agricultural Innovation Program (AIP) to research the health and nutritional benefits of pulses. Substantiating the health benefits of pulses could lead to their increased use as new ingredients in processed foods and open opportunities for other profitable uses.
In addition, Pulse Canada and the Canadian Special Crops Association will receive $195,000 through the AgriMarketing Program to introduce, grow, and maintain the presence of Canadian pulses in international markets and to increase the volume of exports. This investment will help industry stakeholders promote Canadian pulses and special crops at international trade missions and trade shows and will facilitate an international media tour of the Canadian pulse industry.
"These investments demonstrate the value of partnerships between growers, the pulse trade, and the Government of Canada," says Murad Al-Katib, Pulse Canada Board Chair. "Commitments like these boost the profitability of the entire sector and benefit all Canadians."
Today's announcement builds on a previous investment to Pulse Canada under the current Growing Forward policy framework that helped Pulse Canada build mutually beneficial working relationships with some of the major food companies around the world and bring new information to the marketplace. For example, Pulse Canada partnered with the Canadian International Grains Institute on the four-year Pulse Flour Milling and Utilization Project. The initiative is building new knowledge about the use of pulse flours in a wide range of convenient, healthy food products. Pulse Canada and the Canadian Special Crops Association will also study options for protecting the quality of pulses at harvest time and deliver world-class products to the global market.
The AIP is a $50-million initiative announced as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan 2011 and is part of the Government's commitment to help Canadian producers benefit from cutting-edge science and technology. The AIP boosts the development and commercialization of innovative new products, technologies, and processes for the agricultural sector.
Through the AgriMarketing Program under Growing Forward, the Harper Government is investing $88 million to help industry implement long-term international strategies, including activities such as international market development, industry-to-industry trade advocacy, and consumer awareness and branding.
The Harper Government has identified innovation and market development as a priority under Growing Forward 2. In addition to the suite of business risk management programs, governments have agreed to invest more than $3 billion over five years in these key sectors, and this announcement is another example of what is being done to enhance long-term growth in Canadian agriculture.
The AIP investment is conditional on the signing of a contribution agreement.