New Innovation Hub will Solidify Manitoba's Leadership in Grain Research, Production and Processing

Ottawa- The federal and provincial governments, the grain industry, researchers, farm organizations and other stakeholders will invest substantial resources over five years to solidify Manitoba's place as a national leader in grain research, production and processing.

Larry Maguire, Member of Parliament for Brandon-Souris said, "This is great news for our local agricultural producers. I am pleased that our Government is continuing to invest in research that will lead to new innovation."

Today, Canada's Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced governments will provide a combined $20 million toward projects under the new Grain Innovation Hub, supplemented by additional funding from industry partners expected to bring the total investment to over $33 million.

"Canada continues to be a global leader in agricultural innovation," said Minister Ritz. "This investment will help drive the economy through research, development, commercialization, and collaboration right along the value chain, leading to increased productivity and profitability for our producers."

The Grain Innovation Hub will bring together partners from across the grain industry to support these initial priority areas:

  • The Manitoba Corn Development Initiative is intended to increase total corn acreage by expanding production to new parts of the province and developing corn that better meets the needs of the livestock sector and other end users.

  • The Functional Food and Feed Opportunities Project will help turn Manitoba-led research and development into commercial food processing investments, built on related research about consumer behaviour and attitudes toward food and health.

  • Targeted agri-food research and development and strategic investments in equipment, human resources and commercial development will be done in partnership with Manitoba's grain industry stakeholders.

Agriculture is a central part of Manitoba's economy. Farm cash receipts, which measure on-farm income, were estimated at more than $5.2 billion in 2013. Manitoba's exports of agriculture and food products were valued at $5.1 billion in 2013, an increase from $3.9 billion in 2012. About 24,000 Manitobans are directly employed by the agriculture sector, with thousands of other related jobs fuelling the provincial economy.

Two projects recently funded under Growing Forward 2 that support the mandate of the new Grain Innovation Hub include $1 million in new equipment for Manitoba Corn Growers to conduct agronomic studies on how to grow corn in new areas in the province and significant infrastructure investments at the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine to study the effects of different foods on human and animal metabolism.

The Grain Innovation Hub is funded by the federal and provincial governments under Growing Forward 2 and industry partners. In Manitoba, the federal and provincial governments are investing $176 million under Growing Forward 2, a five-year, federal-provincial-territorial policy framework to advance the agriculture industry, helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets.

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