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Feds Invest in Canada’s Oat Industry

By Amanda Brodhagen,

Canada’s oat sector received a $3.7 million dollar boost from Ottawa today. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced funding to the Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA) at Manitoba Ag Days, Canada’s largest indoor farm show.

The more than $3 million investment will be directed at three research projects from supporting the development of new oat varieties to research into the potential health benefits of oat beta-glucan in improving horses’ immune systems.

Here is a breakdown of the funds:

• Development of new oat varieties -  $2,905,829
• Creation of a new system to identify desirable traits in oats - $ 151,500
• Oat beta-glucan horse research project - $109,500
• Fund a marketing campaign targeted at the American equine market - $600,000

“Our Government remains committed to growing the economy, and oat growers play a vital role in creating jobs and keeping our economy strong here in Manitoba and across Canada. By providing farmers with the tools they need to succeed, this investment will help grow consumer demand for oats and expand market opportunities,” Ritz said in a news release.  

The funding was made possible through the AgriInnovation Program, under the Growing Forward 2 policy framework. Canada is the largest exporter of oats in the world. In 2012, the oat industry exported $620 million worth of oats around the globe.

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