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  • By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media

New Program of Canadian Investments in Wheat Breeding Program

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Canterra Seeds, and the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC), announced they are jointly investing $3.4 million over five years in the Canada Prairie Spring Wheat (CPSR) breeding program at AAFC’s Lethbirdge Research Center, led by Dr. Harpinder Randhawa.

The new funding program is being described as a public-private-producer partnership (4P) and was created to “streamline the development and commercialization” of new varieties of CPSR from the center.

The line of CPSR strains of wheat were launched in 1985 as an alternative lower-protein variety to Canada Western Red Spring (CWRS). It claims a low-to-medium protein content, medium-hard kernels, and medium to strong dough strength for the production of noodles, flat breads, and crackers.

Under the terms of the funding agreement, AWC is to receive a share of royalties generated from new varieties developed through the program, which are to be re-invested in new CPSR research.

Canterra Seeds will contribute technical and field testing capacity to the 4P model, in addition to providing “links to the entire value chain, a deeper understanding of end-user requirements and broad experience in seed production and commercialization.” In return, Canterra will be given first right of refusal on future CPSR varieties developed through the program.

Commenting on the new model of funding, Cam Dahl, president of Cereals Canada states that the 4P agreement “serves as a model for new ways of bringing forward innovation in Canada,” and takes advantage of the strengths of all three organizations. The result is additional investment in innovation and variety development in Canada and more choice for Canadian producers.”

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