WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA — Gerry Ritz, minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, announced on June 6 funding of C$5 million from the AgriInnovation Program (AIP) to the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi).

The investment will support the group’s research and innovation activities, Cigi said.

“This announcement is exciting for the future of Cigi and demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to our work as an independent technical institute,” said Cigi Chief Executive Office Earl Geddes.
The allocation of AIP funds will allow Cigi the opportunity to broaden its current research and innovation activities supporting the use of Canadian field crops and the Canada brand worldwide on behalf of farmers and industry, he said. 

“For example, the funding allows us to put a specific focus on the functional properties of various wheat varieties in our continuing effort to ensure customers are receiving the wheat gluten strength they require and a better understanding of the regional differences of varieties and class of wheat, as well as to match funding from Pulse Canada and Saskatchewan Pulse Growers for new product development with pulse flours,” he said. 

Cigi has carried out research as part of its marketing efforts, but this is the first time funds are specifically earmarked to work on innovative solutions that add value to Canadian field crops in the marketplace.

“We are pleased to have this funding for multi-faceted, innovation-driven commercial research to create new applications and high-quality products from Canadian wheat, durum, and pulses,” said Dr. Rex Newkirk who will lead Cigi’s technical team in the applied commercial research. “The AIP funding also positions Cigi very well to work with Cereals Canada and provide them with research services as they move forward with their plans and priorities.”