Canadian canola crop to get big boost

The federal government will invest up to $9.5 million in the Canola Council of Canada, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced Jan. 15 in Saskatoon.

The investment will aid market access and development activities aimed at increasing the consumption and value of canola oil.

The investment will be matched by industry contributions, taking the total investment to $19 million over five years.

“Grow the Canadian market”

“Ninety per cent of canola produced is exported,” said Patti Smith, President of the Canola Council of Canada. “Right now the top four countries we export to are China, US, Mexico and Japan.”

“This investment will help us grow the Canola market. We are always searching for the next wave of opportunity.”

“We will conduct programs to educate consumers on the health benefits and the culinary versatility of canola,” she added. “We will also work with experts and chefs from different countries to promote our canola in their markets.”

The investment is a boost to the Canola Council’s projection for 2025.

Concerns about fungus

On Jan. 9, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed the presence of Verticillium longispurum, a canola choking fungus at a farm research station in Manitoba.

Patti Smith assures that it has been contained.

“No crops are going in or out and the entire situation has been managed effectively.”

The sudden appearance of the fungus will not disrupt any plans for development of the canola crop.

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