Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

February 23, 2011 11:47 ET

Year-Round Production at Lower Costs Coming Soon: Harper Government Invests in Led Technology to Support Greenhouse Production

PORTNEUF, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Feb. 23, 2011) - The Government of Canada is investing in an innovative technology for greenhouses that will help growers improve efficiency while reducing operational costs. The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), announced today that GE Lighting Solutions Canada Company will receive close to $1.3 million to develop LED lighting solutions for greenhouses to improve crop yield and quality while reducing energy requirements.

"Innovative technologies like the one the company will develop will lead to real benefits. They help growers tap new market opportunities, expand their businesses and contribute to the environmental sustainability of the sector," said Minister Blackburn. "Today, our Government is investing in a project that will help farmers reduce their operating costs, produce all year round, and increase their profits."

LED lighting is more energy efficient so growers will be able to reduce energy consumption and operating costs. "Past studies have also shown that plants react better to certain wavelengths, and this new LED system is expected to increase crop quality and yield," said Minister Blackburn.

GE Lighting will work in collaboration with McGill University to develop the LED system and Les Serres du St-Laurent Inc. (Savoura) will test the lighting systems in their greenhouses.

"Today's announcement exemplifies successful collaboration driving technology innovation. The application of GE's LED technology will significantly enhance commercial greenhouse operations, not just in Canada, but around the world," noted Elyse Allan, President & CEO, GE Canada.

"This future-facing project will enable Savoura and the entire Canadian greenhouse industry to continue providing fresh, healthy and flavourful greenhouse vegetables all year long, by keeping costs at an acceptable level and through more efficient use of energy", stated Ms. Marie Gosselin, Savoura's CEO.

Funding for this project comes from the Developing Innovative Agri-Products (DIAP) initiative, which is delivered by the Growing Forward framework under the Agri-Innovations program, a $158 million five-year program announced to support industry-led science and technology projects.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    613-773-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    or
    The Office of the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn
    Celine Falardeau
    Senior Policy Advisor
    613-773-1088