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. The federal government announced an investment of up to $11.1 million to the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers’ and Pulse Canada under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AgriScience Clusters.
Building on two previous research clusters, this investment includes an additional $7.2 million in contributions from industry, for a total investment of over $18 million. The Cluster will focus on a series of themes: 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.
“The Canadian pulse industry looks forward to continued collaboration with the Government of Canada under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Research and innovation in pulse production, ingredient processing and utilization will help our sector maintain a competitive advantage,” says Allison Ammeter, chair of Pulse Canada.
- Canadian pulse production in 2017 was 7.1 million tonnes. The 5-year average for Canadian pulse production is 6.5 million tonnes per year.
- The Government of Canada is also supporting the pulse sector through the up-to $950 million superclusters announced under Budget 2017.
- The pulse cluster is lead by partners from the Canadian pulse industry, including Pulse Canada, the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers, Alberta Pulse Growers, Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers, and Ontario Bean Growers.
- The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to grow the agriculture and agri-food sector.
- The Partnership includes programs and activities to enhance the competitiveness of the sector through research, science and innovation. Through the AgriScience Program, a five-year, up to $338 million initiative, the Government of Canada is supporting leading edge discovery and applied science, and innovation driven by industry research priorities.