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Harper Government Invests in New Canadian Wheat Research Partnership

Posted On 2022-07-08 00:00:00

July 8, 2022 – Lethbridge, Alberta – Agriculture and Agri-Food (AAFC)

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz today announced the first of its kind $3.4 million public-private-producer partnership (P4) wheat breeding program.

This inaugural collaboration between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, CANTERRA SEEDS and the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) will benefit Canadian producers by advancing the development and commercialization of Canadian Prairie Spring (CPS) wheat varieties. In addition to a federal investment of nearly $1.2 million, the AWC and CANTERRA SEEDS are investing cash and services to the CPS Lethbridge program.

The CPS Wheat Breeding Program supports the Government's commitment to provide producers with greater access to new crop varieties and the latest technology to remain globally competitive, as highlighted in the Agricultural Growth Act (Bill C-18), which received Royal Assent earlier this year. With stronger intellectual property rights, there is greater incentive to increase investment in research and development for Canada's crop sector.

Quick facts

  • Wheat is a staple food crop that accounts for approximately $4 billion annually to the Canadian farm industry, comprises more than 20 percent of farm crop income and boasts a total value of nearly $11 billion when value-added processing is considered.
  • About 96 percent of wheat is grown in the western Prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and 4 percent is grown in Eastern Canada.
  • CPS wheat is characterized as having lower protein and weaker gluten than other classes of wheat—properties many consumers around the world require to produce hearth breads such as French bread, flatbreads, pita and crackers.



"There's no question that this collaborative approach to research is the way forward in today's competitive environment. This partnership between the federal government, producers and private industry will support Canadian wheat producers in the global marketplace by helping them maximize their commercial and trade opportunities."

- Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz

"This P4 partnership speaks to the level of co-operation that exists in our industry, both public and private. The Agricultural Growth Act set the stage for this, and I fully expect farmers will see cascading benefits of the modernization of industry regulations and new partnerships like the one we are announcing today."

- David Hansen, President and Chief Executive Officer of CANTERRA SEEDS

"Through our investment in this partnership, the Alberta Wheat Commission is leveraging producer dollars to ensure they continue to have access to premium CPS wheat varieties that offer a high return on investment. CPS wheat has untapped potential in the international marketplace, and we want to enable its continued growth potential by supporting the CPS breeding program at the Lethbridge Research Centre."

- Kent Erickson, Chair, Alberta Wheat Commission


Additional links



Jeff English
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
Follow us on Twitter: @AAFC_Canada

Andrea Hilderman
Marketing Manager

Victoria Russell
Communications and Events Coordinator
Alberta Wheat Commission

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