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Canada invests to help improve pest and disease management for vegetable growers

Canadian producers will benefit from an important Government of Canada investment in research that will help farmers improve insect and disease management. The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), announced that Phytodata Inc. will receive up to $1.2 million to develop DNA-based technologies for disease monitoring in vegetables.

"Investments in innovation keep our farmers on the cutting edge of technology," said Minister Blackburn. "This project will provide our producers with tools to help improve pest and disease management, which will boost their productivity and help them compete in the marketplace."

The funding will go towards developing new ways to monitor and detect major diseases in potatoes, grapes and greenhouse tomatoes. DNA-based technologies are highly reliable methods for monitoring diseases affecting fruits and vegetables and can help producers prevent the spread of disease through crops. The results can then be applied to other vegetable diseases. Improved pest and disease management initiatives are an efficient way to reduce pesticide use and increase farmers productivity.

"Thanks to the funding from Agriculture Canada, Phytodata and its partner, McCain Foods Canada, will develop expertise unmatched in the world in the detection of late blight in potatoes and several other airborne plant diseases," said Luc Brodeur, president of Phytodata Inc.

This project is being funded by the Developing Innovative Agri-Products initiative, which supports industry-led science and technology projects. The initiative is part of the larger Growing Canadian Agri-Innovations Program, a $158 million five-year program that promotes industry-led innovation initiatives that help get new agricultural products into the marketplace and improve agricultural processes.

In addition, Canadas Economic Action Plan supports agriculture as a core economic driver in this country. The Government of Canada is focused on strengthening the economy today, while preparing to pay down the deficit when the time is right, and to create and protect jobs in the future.

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