Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has made recent funding announcements aimed at enhancing public research at the Semiarid Prairie Agricultural Research Station in Swift Current, the Crops and Livestock Research Centre in Charlottetown and the Cereal Research Centre in Morden, Manitoba. SPARC in Swift Current is receiving $5 million over two years to modernize aging greenhouse facilities. Charlottetown is getting $5.4 million, while $250,000 has been announced for Morden. On behalf of producers, the Grain Growers of Canada has issued a news release saying it is encouraged by these funding announcements. You don’t often get this kind of rosey picture when you talk to individuals knowledgeable about federal ag research. They say career bureaucrats are in charge of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada these days, rather than people who understand and care about agriculture. There’s long been a move away from basic research into projects aimed at providing a quick return on investment. Morale among researchers is said to be low. They face more paperwork while core funding is increasingly difficult to obtain. The infrastructure spending is a positive development, but it doesn’t address the many years of neglect and decay. I’m Kevin Hursh.
Kevin Hursh, PAg, CAC