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Farm Credit Canada announces $5 million investment into GIFS at USask to accelerate breeding and innovation for Canadian agriculture

Canadian agriculture is set to thrive further with a $5 million investment from Farm Credit Canada (FCC) into the accelerated breeding program of the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask). The newly named FCC Accelerated Breeding Program at GIFS will drive sustainable advancements in agricultural productivity across Canada.

Accelerated breeding combines technologies such as genomic selection, speed breeding, bioinformatics and computer simulation to increase the rate of genetic gain for crop and livestock breeding programs, delivering new products into the hands of producers two to three years faster and improving agronomics, quality and disease resistant traits.

Deployed for over 20 years in dairy and for more than a decade in crops such as corn and soybean through large corporations, the FCC Accelerated Breeding Program at GIFS will provide public and private breeders access to the same technologies not routinely available for crops and livestock important to Canada. By boosting Canadian agriculture’s productivity, competitiveness and sustainability, it will help to bolster the country’s global position as a reliable and sustainable producer of food for the world.

A 2023 report by FCC identifies a $30 billion opportunity over ten years to rekindle Canada’s agriculture productivity growth, and highlights innovation and technology as a pathway to achieving this. Increased genetic gain and yield derived through accelerated breeding will help stimulate rural economic growth and translate to increased revenue and market share for Canadian agriculture.

The FCC Accelerated Breeding Program at GIFS complements USask, Saskatchewan and Canada’s strong and successful history of breeding, innovation and agricultural production.

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