The governments of Canada and Manitoba are investing nearly $484,000 in equipment and infrastructure needed to conduct specialized research projects on grain preservation and storage, Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced today.
“Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector is a key driver of our economy,” said MacAulay. “As we innovate new crops and enhance existing ones, we need improvements in storage to keep up with an evolving sector. This funding will help Canadian grain producers grow their businesses and stay competitive, while creating good well-paying jobs in the local economy.”
Funding will be invested to complete the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute’s (PAMI) grain innovation facility near Portage la Prairie. This includes basic infrastructure needs, as well as specialized equipment such as hopper bins, a grain weighing wagon, lighting, conveyors, ventilation fans and related research instruments.
“Manitoba has an internationally-recognized network of grain handling and storage manufacturers, making this investment essential to supporting the future of these sectors while preserving the quality and standards of our grain products,” said Eichler. “For Manitoba’s value-added processing industries to grow, we must also continually improve how we store agricultural commodities, with the goal of avoiding spoilage and other losses.”
Once complete, the results of the research at the grain innovation facility will be used by the farming community and agribusiness sector.
“The scale of grain storage bins has increased 10 to 20 times over the last 30 years,” said Harvey Chorney, vice president and manager of PAMI’s Manitoba operations. “On top of that, innovations in crops and harvesting techniques are changing the characteristics of grain going into bins. Scientific and engineering testing has not kept up, leaving agricultural producers in a risky position. The research facilities made possible by this funding will help us to answer new questions in grain storage.”
PAMI is a non-profit applied research, development and testing organization, serving the agriculture industry in western Canada and internationally. It directly employs 11 people in Portage la Prairie and surrounding areas and completed 126 agricultural research projects last year. Its work is directed by an independent board of producers and the Manitoba and Saskatchewan governments. For more information, visit www.pami.ca.
Funding for this project was provided through Growing Forward 2 (GF2). The federal and provincial governments invested $176 million in Manitoba under GF2 over the last five years, through a federal-provincial-territorial policy framework intended to advance the agriculture industry, helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets. For more information, visit www.gov.mb.ca/agricultureunder Growing Forward 2.