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Eastern Canada oilseed alliance receives $3.7 million in federal funding


December 7, 2018  


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Ottawa today announced an investment of $3.7 million to the Eastern Canada Oilseeds Development Alliance (ECODA), designed to 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.

“Research is key: the future is breeding better varieties,” says Murray MacDonald, Manager, Atlantic Soy, Belle River, Prince Edward Island. “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.”

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.

Over the next five years, ECODA research activities will focus on:

  • Developing better varieties and new oilseed crops for eastern Canada, including soybeans, camelina, brown mustard, pulses, canola, and hemp;
  • Product innovation to boost market opportunities for oilseeds and value-added products;
  • Improving land use and increasing profitable crop rotation options; and
  • Improving pest resistance and soil preservation.

“Research is key: the future is breeding better varieties,” says Murray MacDonald, Manager, Atlantic Soy. “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.”

There are 21 projects over all and of these activities 10 projects worth $733,000 will be conducted in Prince Edward Island.

“Our government is always looking for ways to grow opportunities for farmers in Prince Edward Island, and across our country,” says Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “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.”

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 EuropeJapan, and the United States.