Fairfax, MB - Larry Maguire, Member of Parliament for Brandon-Souris announced a combined federal-provincial investment of over $1.8 million to the National Sunflower Association of Canada (NSAC) to develop new seed varieties and boost sunflower acreage in Western Canada.
MP Maguire said, "Our Government remains committed to a strong and vibrant agricultural industry. This investment will go a long way in helping our sunflower growers produce high-quality confection hybrids that can be enjoyed worldwide. These new varieties will deliver economic benefits by expanding the sunflower growing regions in Western Canada."
The NSAC will receive over $1.2 million from the federal AgriInnovation Program and $320,000 from the cost-shared Growing Innovation - Agri-Food Research and Development Initiative to support the development of adaptable, disease resistant and herbicide tolerant, confection sunflower hybrids that meet the needs of international markets and demands from growers. The varieties will be adaptable to growing conditions in the Prairies, adding an additional cash crop to field rotations.
The NSAC is pleased to be receiving continued support from the Government of Canada and Government of Manitoba on our Confection Sunflower Variety Development Initiative. "The sunflower industry has the potential to increase domestic and international exports with the development of long-type confectionary sunflowers. This investment will help our producers grow new sunflower seed varieties while allowing them to capture new market opportunities, increase their bottom dollar and strengthen the sunflower industry of Canada," said Gregg Fotheringham, President of the National Sunflower Association of Canada.
• Established in 1996, the National Sunflower Association of Canada (NSAC) is a non-for profit, producer-funded organization that works on behalf of 600 sunflower growers in Canada to promote and expand the industry, both internationally and domestically.
• Canada exported $35 million worth of sunflower seeds in 2013.