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New organic agriculture research centre receives funding Of $13,132,343

Senator Ghislain Maltais, on behalf of Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture) together with Sam Hamad, Quebec Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export, Pierre Corbeil, Quebec Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, as well as the Research and Development Institute for the Agri-Environment (IRDA), today announced a financial contribution of $13,132,343 for the creation of a new research centre called the Platform for Innovation in Organic Agriculture. This amount will enable construction of a multi-purpose centre and the acquisition of the machinery and scientific equipment needed for the work that will be carried out at the new research centre. This is expected to revitalize research, development and knowledge transfer in the area of organic crop production.

The Platform, designed by the IRDA, will address the research/development needs expressed by over 30 organizations involved in organic agriculture. The new facility is located in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Montérégie, and will be used for finding solutions to technical or agronomic problems and therefore for improving the competitiveness of Quebec companies operating in this industry sector.

"The Quebec government is proud to support this large-scale project that will stimulate research and development in organic crop production and further the transfer of knowledge, whether information, research results, technical advice or training," stated Mr. Sam Hamad, Quebec Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export.

"The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the competitiveness of the agricultural sector. This joint project will help maintain growth in Quebec's organic agriculture sector by improving the competitiveness of organic producers or those transitioning and, more broadly, the environmental performance of farms throughout Quebec," said Senator Maltais.

"This is good news for Quebec! The spin-offs from the Platform will be beneficial for the organic sector and will flow over into the other sectors. In fact, applying the research findings from an integrated management perspective and in the area of organic agriculture will also benefit traditional companies that wish to reduce the environmental impact of their activities," indicated Minister Pierre Corbeil.

"I'm very proud to see this new research centre being set up in our region, which is one of the birthplaces of Quebec's agriculture industry. The expertise of our farmers combined with research by the experts who will be working here will benefit Montérégie residents and all Quebecers," said Nicole Ménard, Minister of Tourism and Minister Responsible for the Montérégie region.

"By supporting the introduction of the Platform for Innovation in Organic Agriculture, the Quebec government and the Government of Canada are showing the importance they attach to research of public interest and knowledge transfer. The work that will be conducted there will support the organic agriculture industry by accelerating the discovery and implementation of solutions that address the needs of farmers and society," stated Ms. Gisèle Grandbois, IRDA President and CEO.

The IRDA is a non-profit research corporation formed in 1998 by four founding organizations, namely the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ), the Quebec Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export (MDEIE), the Quebec Ministry of Sustainable Development, the Environment and Parks and the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA).

Financial package
The financial contribution of the partners involved in this project is broken down as follows:
- $8,372,109 from the MDEIE under the Research Assistance Program, phase 2 "Support for Research Infrastructure Funding", namely $7,512,109 for the infrastructure and equipment and $860,000 to defray the additional operating and maintenance expenses.
- $2,170,000 from AgriFlexibility by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada;
- $1,200,000 granted by the MAPAQ as a contribution towards the initiative under AgriFlexibility;
- $1,365,234 from the IRDA;
- $25,000 advanced by the Quebec Wildlife Foundation.

by S. C.
06 june 2012, World News > America

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