Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart announced renewed funding for Ag-West Bio through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Ag-West Bio will receive $1.7 million per year for the next five years, for a total of $8.5 million, to support the development of the agricultural biotechnology sector in Saskatchewan.
“Innovation is key to enhancing competitiveness and driving sustainable growth in the agriculture sector,” said MacAulay. “This funding will help bring new research to market and grow the economy, which will strengthen the middle class and create even more opportunities for the Saskatchewan agriculture industry.”
“This investment demonstrates how agriculture research is a priority for our government, and works toward our goal of making Saskatchewan a world leader in biosciences,” Stewart said. “Since its inception, Ag-West Bio has played a significant role in the province’s bioscience innovation cluster and this renewed funding will allow its important work to continue.”
Ag-West Bio will use the funding to provide a range of essential services for the agriculture community, including advocacy and advice; financing and business attraction; and networking and educational events.
Ag-West Bio was launched by the Government of Saskatchewan in 1989 to develop the ag-biotech sector and to advocate for science-based decision making. Its mandate remains to help expand the province’s bioscience sector by working with innovators and investors to help bring research to market.
“It’s a fascinating time to be involved in agriculture,” Ag-West Bio President and CEO Dr. Wilf Keller said. “Growth is being driven by both bio- and digital technologies. Ag-food is an area with significant potential; this renewed funding gives Ag-West Bio the resources to move this sector to the next level.”
Ag-West Bio received $1.5 million per year in funding from the federal and provincial governments under the previous policy framework, Growing Forward 2. This funding is provided through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year $388 million investment by the federal and provincial governments in strategic initiatives for Saskatchewan agriculture. The investment is also part of the province’s record investment in agricultural research in the 2018-19 provincial budget.
For more information on the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, visit www.saskatchewan.ca/CAP or www.agr.gc.ca/eng/about-us/key-departmental-initiatives/canadian-agricultural-partnership.