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Canada and Quebec governments inaugurate the platform for innovation in organic agriculture

The platform will benefit companies certified in organic production, as well as those in the process of converting to organic production

Quebec Minister of Higher Education, Research and Science and Technology (MERST), Pierre Duchesne, the Deputy Premier of Quebec and Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, François Gendron, as well as Christian Paradis, federal Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture), are proud to inaugurate the Platform for Innovation in Organic Agriculture, an initiative of the Institut de recherche et de développement en agroenvironnement (IRDA), in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Quebec.

The federal Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture) Christian Paradis stated the following: “The creation of this infrastructure will definitely strengthen growth in Quebec’s organic agriculture sector, by improving not only the competitiveness of producers but also the environmental performance of farms. This is a compelling demonstration of an effective use of the Agricultural Flexibility Fund.”

“This platform is turning out to be a world-class facility that will allow the IRDA to increase its competitiveness in a growing sector and thus attract and retain top researchers. Research, development and knowledge transfer in the field of organic crop production will draw on the expertise of our researchers and agricultural producers. Supporting excellence in research and innovation to benefit all Quebecers remains a priority,” said Minister Duchesne.

The Platform for Innovation in Organic Agriculture is a platform for R&D, knowledge transfer, and training in organic crop production. For the IRDA and its partners, it is a huge, open-air laboratory with a range of exclusive, state-of-the-art equipment and services that are not available elsewhere in Quebec or in Canada.

“Organic production is meeting the growing demand by Quebec consumers for healthy foods produced using techniques that have a minimal environmental impact and are as natural as possible. The new infrastructure will support the organic agriculture industry by accelerating the discovery and application of solutions that meet the needs of farmers and Quebec companies working in this sector,” added Minister Gendron.

The Platform will benefit companies certified in organic production, as well as those in the process of converting to organic production. The results of the research will also be of use to producers practicing sustainable agriculture.

The IRDA is a non-profit research organization formed in 1998 by the Government of Quebec and the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA).

The IRDA’s mission is to carry out agri-environmental R&D and knowledge transfer to encourage innovation in agriculture with a view to sustainable development. Each year, the Institute carries out some 100 research projects in partnership with various stakeholders in the fields of agriculture and research.
Financial package

The financial contribution of the partners involved in this project is $13,132.343. The Government of Quebec is contributing approximately 80%. The MESRST is thus providing $8,372,109 under the Research Assistance Program’s “Support for Research Infrastructure Funding” component. MAPAQ is investing $1,200,000, and $2,170,000 will come from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Agricultural Flexibility Fund. The financial package is completed by the IRDA itself, as well as the Fondation de la faune du Québec.
About the Politique nationale de la recherche et de l'innovation

The MESRST is currently developing the next Politique nationale de la recherche et de l'innovation (PNRI). The policy will be the product of numerous consultations with stakeholders from all sectors involved in R&D: companies, educational institutions, government and society. The PNRI will address the common goal of advancing Quebec on the world stage of knowledge. The policy will reflect the views of an open society that cares about its future and is expected to be tabled in June.

For more information on the programs and services of the Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche, de la Science et de la Technologie (available in french only), visit the website at www.mesrst.gouv.qc.ca.

by S. C.
06 may 2013, World News > America

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