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Harper Government Invests to Create New Seed Varieties for the Sunflower Sector

FAIRFAX, MANITOBA -- (Marketwired) -- 06/25/14 -- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Member of Parliament Larry Maguire (Brandon-Souris), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and the Honourable Ron Kostyshyn, Manitoba Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, today announced a combined federal-provincial investment of over $1.8 million to the National Sunflower Association of Canada (NSAC) to develop new seed varieties and boost sunflower acreage in Western Canada.

The NSAC will receive over $1.2 million from the federal AgriInnovation Program and $320,000 from the cost-shared Growing Innovation - Agri-Food Research and Development Initiative to support the development of adaptable, disease resistant and herbicide tolerant, confection sunflower hybrids that meet the needs of international markets and demands from growers. The varieties will be adaptable to growing conditions in the Prairies, adding an additional cash crop to field rotations.

Quick Facts

--  Established in 1996, the National Sunflower Association of Canada (NSAC)
    is a non-for profit, producer-funded organization that works on behalf
    of 600 sunflower growers in Canada to promote and expand the industry,
    both internationally and domestically.
--  Canada exported $35 million worth of sunflower seeds in 2013.
--  This investment is made through the federal Industry-led Research and
    Development stream of AAFC's AgriInnovation Program, a five-year, up to
    $698-million initiative under Growing Forward 2.
--  This project also received funding under the Growing Innovation - Agri-
    Food Research and Development Initiative (ARDI), a Growing Forward 2
    cost-shared program with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural
    Development (MAFRD).
--  In Manitoba, the federal and provincial governments are investing $176
    million under Growing Forward 2, a five-year, federal-provincial-
    territorial policy framework to advance the agriculture industry,
    helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive
    in world markets.

Quotes

"Our government remains committed to a strong and vibrant agricultural industry and this investment will go a long way in helping our sunflower growers produce high-quality confection hybrids that can be enjoyed worldwide. These new varieties will deliver economic benefits by expanding the sunflower growing regions in Western Canada."

--  Member of Parliament Larry Maguire

"Manitoba is already one of the best places in the country to grow sunflowers. This project will help ensure our long-term success by developing new varieties that suit our climate, the needs of farmers and the expectations of our customers. We're pleased to support this project and the opportunities it will create for farmers and processors."

--  Minister Ron Kostyshyn, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development

"The NSAC is pleased to be receiving continued support from the Government of Canada and Government of Manitoba on our Confection Sunflower Variety Development Initiative. "The sunflower industry has the potential to increase domestic and international exports with the development of long-type confectionary sunflowers. This investment will help our producers grow new sunflower seed varieties while allowing them to capture new market opportunities, increase their bottom dollar and strengthen the sunflower industry of Canada."

--  Gregg Fotheringham, President of the National Sunflower Association of
    Canada.

Additional Links

Growing Forward 2 (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

AgriInnovation Program (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

National Sunflower Association of Canada

Follow us on Twitter: @AAFC_Canada

Contacts:
Emily Hogeveen
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
613-773-1059

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972

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