By Top Crop Manager
July 29, 2013, Saskatoon, SK - The federal government is investing $15 million in Canada's pulse industry.
Under Growing Forward 2, the money allows Pulse Canada to lead a research cluster of industry experts, government scientists and universities to enhance the pulse sector's competitiveness and increase the demand for Canadian pulses.
The investment will support research focused on developing new pulse varieties, improving agronomic practices, responding to consumer demand for healthier foods, and contributing to potential health claims linked to pulse consumption. According to the federal government, this research cluster will also help the sector meet the growing global demand for top quality Canadian pulses, and ensure the industry remains competitive and sustainable.
The cluster will support the priority research of the industry. While industry leadership and investment are key to the success of the initiative, the cluster will benefit from the expertise of scientists based in AAFC Research Centres across the country who have been at the forefront of pulse crop research for over a century, developing high-quality, disease-resistant cultivars with improved seed quality.
This research builds on an earlier investment of up to $7 million made through the first Growing Forward framework (2008-13) for a pulse research cluster designed to help improve pulse crop productivity, nutrition and rotational benefits in relation to other crops. Among other findings, this prior cluster led to the development of a lentil-based sport nutrition bar that offers metabolic benefits and enhances recovery following exercise, as well as the adoption of narrow-row dry bean production which reduces soil erosion, enhances soil quality and promotes long-term sustainability.
In 2012, pulses generated $1.7 billion in farm sales, and were Canada's third largest export crop, with close to $2 billion in exports.