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Saskatchewan to get new agriculture researchers

Sept. 24, 2013, Regina, SK - The federal government is partnering with the Saskatchewan government to provide $17.25 million in funding over the next five years for 13 strategic research chairs in the province. These world-class research chairs will help ensure that Saskatchewan has the capacity to further develop new crop varieties, expand the sector's knowledge and enhance technologies to grow the agriculture industry.

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture's Strategic Research Program focuses on four areas: crop genetic improvement; livestock development; food and bioproducts development; and, soils and environment. Each chair consists of a scientist and a technician who reside at the University of Saskatchewan. The program assures stable funding to facilitate the recruitment and retention of the best research personnel. The chairs are responsible for attracting project funding from programs offered by public and private sectors to support their respective research program.

The funding includes the creation of a new forage research chair in 2013, as a result of feedback from industry groups.

Since 2007, the federal and provincial governments have committed $35 million to the Strategic Research Program.

The Strategic Research Program was introduced in 1986 through a series of five-year agreements. A recent evaluation, conducted by KPMG, has concluded that Saskatchewan's research programs produce nine dollars in benefits to producers for every dollar invested by the provincial government.