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New swine research cluster expected to focus on pork sector sustainability, competitiveness, productivity, and resilience

By Bruce Cochrane, Farmscape

The General Manager of Swine Innovation Porc says the pork sector's planned next swine cluster research program will focus on pork sector sustainability, competitiveness, productivity and resiliency.

Swine Innovation Porc, the national organization for research in the pork sector, submitted its application to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in January for funding for 19 projects being proposed under Swine Cluster-4.

SIP General Manager Daniel Ramage said that the application is now under review and the process is expected to be completed by late spring or early summer.

”We've seen some structural changes to the agri-science program and so there's a greater emphasis than ever on climate change and environment. That's driven by government policy but I think it's also in response to changing consumer trends and changing global realities where there's greater recognition of the importance of sustainability in agriculture and in the Canadian pork sector as well. That's become a much stronger focus for us in terms of the Canadian pork cluster but also in terms of responding to that government programing,” explained Daniel Ramage of Swine Innovation Porc.

”Beyond climate change and environment, we're also keenly focused on continuing to develop projects that will enhance economic competitiveness and productivity and then beyond that into projects that will support our resiliency as a sector. So, things that can, for example, help us address foreign animal diseases, improve biosecurity. These are things that are really critical. So, when you look at the cluster as a package, it really is cohesive across those three areas from climate change to economic growth to resiliency for the sector,” added Ramage.

Swine Innovation Porc is funded by the federal government, Sask Pork and the other seven provincial pork organizations, as well as multiple private partners within the pork industry. Sask Pork and the other provincial pork producer organizations contribute 2.5 cents per market hog and .5 cents per weanling, which is used to leverage public dollars and multiply investments in research and development to benefit the industry. Every $1 from producer organizations is used to leverage an additional $8 from other sources of funding.

Ramage noted an independent analysis of the economic impact of previous swine cluster programs showed pork sector investments in research resulted in a three and a half percent increase in productivity and demonstrates investments in research pay strong dividends for producers and for the Canadian economy.

Source : Saskpork

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