Fairfax, Manitoba -- Member of Parliament Larry Maguire (Brandon-Souris), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and the Honourable Ron Kostyshyn, Manitoba Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, today 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.
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.
- Established in 1996, the 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.
- This investment is made through the federal Industry-led Research and Development stream of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's AgriInnovation Program, a five-year, up to $698-million initiative under Growing Forward 2.
- This project also received funding under the Growing Innovation - Agri-Food Research and Development Initiative (ARDI), a Growing Forward 2 cost-shared program with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD).
- 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.