Saint-Bruno-De-Montarville, QC - An agricultural research site devoted to organic agricultural research has received $13.1 million in funding. Supported and inaugurated by Quebec's Research and Development Institute for the Agri-Environment (IRDA) and located on a 90-ha piece of land, the Organic Agriculture Innovation Platform (OAIP) is said to be the biggest organic agriculture research site in Canada.
The initiative brings together 34 partners who will have access to the site's high-tech infrastructure for carrying out research and development, transfer, training and public awareness activities related to organic crop production.
The OAIP was developed in response to repeated calls from Québec's agricultural community, according to Pierre Lemieux, president of IRDA's Board of Directors.
"Québec imports 70% of the organic products it consumes," he says. "If we want to reverse this trend, we will have to come up with strategic tools to improve crop production practices. The results of the research conducted by the Organic Agriculture Innovation Platform will serve as a springboard for increasing production of local organic products."
At a time of climate change, new challenges lie ahead for organic farmers, such as the emergence of insects previously unable to survive winter. The OAIP will provide researchers with access to specialized equipment and services for conducting crucial research on these new realities.
The $13.1 million came from partners including: $7.5 million for infrastructure and $860,000 in seed money from the Ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur, de la Science, de la Recherche et de la Technologie; $2.17 million from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; $1.2 million from the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation; $25,000 from the Fondation de la Faune du Québec, and $1.4 million from IRDA.