Government invests $11 million in pulse sector
By Top Crop Manager
Lawrence MacAuley, minister of agriculture and agri-food, announced an investment of up to $11.1 million to the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers and Pulse Canada to support innovation and growth in the Canadian pulse sector.
The investment includes an additional $7.2 million from industry, bringing the total investment in pulses to over $18 million.
The investment, under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership AgriScience Clusters, will focus on 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.
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. In 2017, Canadian pulse production was 7.1 million tonnes. The five year average for pulse production is 6.5 million tonnes per year.