The Governments of Canada and Manitoba have invested more than $210,000 in a new vegetable research site near Winkler, in Manitoba. The research will be focused on improving yields, developing new varieties and creating opportunities for potato, sweet potato and carrot growers.
The investment was announced last week by Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler.
Lawrence MacAulay, Federal Agriculture Minister of Canada:
“Our government is proud to support research for the improvement of yields and the development of new vegetable varieties in Canada.”
“This investment will help Canada’s vegetable farmers expand their markets in Canada and abroad, creating new opportunities and generating greater returns for Canadian farmers.”
Funding will be provided through Growing Innovation – Capacity Knowledge and Development to support research focused on:
- nutrient and pest management for potatoes;
- new varieties of sweet potato that are better suited for Manitoba’s shorter growing season; and
- variety evaluation and crop management techniques to improve quality and yield for carrots.
Ralph Eichler, Manitoba Agriculture Minister:
“This research project will provide Manitoba’s growers with relevant information to help them make decisions for their farms, while also identifying new opportunities for the future.”
“Vegetables are important crops for the province’s farmers and for our agriculture industry, while also having the added benefit of making more nutritious and locally-grown food available for Manitobans.”
The research site will be operated by Peak of the Market, a grower-owned cooperative responsible for selling Manitoba’s fresh market potatoes and other vegetables. The company will contribute more than $477,000 toward this three-year research project.
Keith Kuhl, chair, Peak of the Market and president of Southern Potato:
“We appreciate working in partnership with government, which will allow us to continue to build the industry.”
“New crops and varieties are a key component to ongoing success.”
Canadians are eating more sweet potatoes and demand has increased by 83 per cent over the last 10 years. Most are currently imported from the United States.
Manitoba growers have found the growing season to be too short to successfully grow available varieties.