The Government of Canada invests in innovation to support the growth of the pulse sector

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Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Canada is a world leading producer of pulses, accounting for $2.5 billion in farmgate receipts and $3.4 billion in exports to 126 countries in 2017. The Government of Canada and Canadian pulse farmers know the importance of research and innovation to help the industry grow and diversify markets for their high-quality products.

Today the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, announced a federal investment of up to $11.1 million to the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers’ and Pulse Canada under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AgriScience Clusters.

Building on two previous research clusters, this investment includes an additional $7.2 million in contributions from industry, for a total investment of over $18 million. The Cluster will focus on a series of themes: improving productivity of new pulse crops, addressing threats to the value chain, exploring the health benefits of pulses and developing innovations in pulse ingredient processing and food product development. Funding under the cluster will enable universities and research institutions across the country to undertake new research activities, and hire faculty members and summer students including the University of Saskatchewan.

An investment of $175,721 was also provided to Pulse Canada through the Growing Forward 2, AgriInnovation Program, towards pulse innovation in the Chinese market. This project will help the industry expand the use of pulses in a wide range of Chinese foods and investigate the health benefits of eating pulse snacks.

The Government of Canada is also supporting the pulse sector through the Protein Industries Supercluster, part of the Innovation Superclusters Initiative announced in Budget 2017. The Protein Industries Supercluster will use plant genomics and novel processing technology to increase the value of key Canadian crops, such as canola, wheat and pulses that are coveted in high-growth foreign markets, such as China and India, as well as to satisfy growing markets in North America and Europe for plant-based meat alternatives and new food products.

Today’s announcement is part of Minister MacAulay’s ‘Growing Canadian Agriculture’ tour, where he will meet with farmers, processors and industry leaders, as well as participate in rural agricultural events across the country, to hear ideas on how to capture new growth opportunities for the sector.

 

Quotes

“Canada’s pulse sector is a world-leader and makes a vital contribution to Canada’s economy. This federal investment will help the industry get more Canadian pulses onto kitchen tables here in Canada and around the world. Our government is investing in our farmers and food businesses because we have prioritized the agriculture sector as a primary driver for growing Canada’s economy and creating middle class jobs.”

Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“The Canadian pulse industry looks forward to continued collaboration with the Government of Canada under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Research and innovation in pulse production, ingredient processing and utilization will help our sector maintain a competitive advantage.”

Allison Ammeter, Chair, Pulse Canada

Quick facts

  • Canadian pulse production in 2017 was 7.1 million tonnes. The 5-year average for Canadian pulse production is 6.5 million tonnes per year.

  • The Government of Canada is also supporting the pulse sector through the up-to $950 million superclusters announced under Budget 2017.
  • The pulse cluster is lead by partners from the Canadian pulse industry, including Pulse Canada, the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, Alberta Pulse Growers, Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers, and Ontario Bean Growers.
  • The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to grow the agriculture and agri-food sector.
  • The Partnership includes programs and activities to enhance the competitiveness of the sector through research, science and innovation. Through the AgriScience Program, a five-year, up to $338 million initiative, the Government of Canada is supporting leading edge discovery and applied science, and innovation driven by industry research priorities.