BELLE RIVER, PE -- Oilseed crops are one of the fastest-growing markets in Eastern Canada. For example, soybean production in Prince Edward Island has roughly tripled since 2008 to 2016. Our farmers are working hard to grow their businesses by tapping into exciting new opportunities both at home and in the emerging markets abroad.
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Recently, Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food was at the Atlantic Soy processing plant in Belle River, Prince Edward Island, to announce a federal investment of $3.7 million to the Eastern Canada Oilseeds Development Alliance (ECODA). This investment will help farm businesses, like Atlantic Soy, to obtain the latest varieties in oilseeds that are best suited to grow in Atlantic Canadian soils and meet the demands of consumers in international markets.
"Our Government is always looking for ways to grow opportunities for farmers in Prince Edward Island, and across our country. This investment into the development of new oilseed varieties made to grow in Eastern Canadian soils and sell in international markets, along with trade opportunities our Government is creating, will help our farmers put more money in their pockets and grow their businesses," said Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
Over the next five years, ECODA research activities will focus on:
There are 21 projects over all and of these activities 10 projects worth $733,000 will be conducted in Prince Edward Island.
The research and commercialization program includes some 15 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, university, and private sector research organizations, and 12 grower and industry partners from eastern Canada, including collaborators from Europe, Japan, and the United States.
Soybean sales from Eastern Canada to Japan and other Asian Markets total over $2.3 billion. Approximately 16% of the soybean acreage in 2016 in Prince Edward Island was exported to Japan to be processed into tofu and miso. The Atlantic Soy facility began operating in March 2008, through a partnership between David Hendrick of Hendrick's Agri-food and the MacDonald family. With the implementation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, Canadian oilseed growers now have tariff-free access to many Pacific markets, including Japan.
"Research is key: the future is breeding better varieties. You have to test many different varieties before you get a winner and this investment will help breed varieties that will suit the soils of PEI. Better varieties will result in greater opportunities for the farmers of PEI, and ultimately more high quality product for Atlantic Soy to expand its non-GMO export market," Murray MacDonald, Manager, Atlantic Soy.
The Government of Canada has identified the agriculture and agri-food sector as a core driver of jobs, growth and prosperity, setting a target to grow Canada's agri-food exports to $75 billion annually by 2025. Funding was provided through the AgriScience Program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector. The Partnership builds on Growing Forward 2, the previous five-year agreement that ended on March 31, 2018. 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, $338 million initiative, the government is supporting leading edge discovery and applied science, and innovation driven by industry research priorities.
SOURCE Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
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