In the December 2008 issue of Canadian Poultry magazine, we updated you
on a workshop hosted on October 1 by the Canadian Poultry Research
In the December 2008 issue of Canadian Poultry magazine, we updated you on a workshop hosted on October 1 by the Canadian Poultry Research Council (CPRC). One of the main outcomes of that workshop was a consensus among participants that CPRC should take on a greater role as a national coordinator to increase the voice for Canadian poultry research as a whole. The CPRC Members met January 23 to discuss, among other things, how it can best fulfill this role. It was agreed that the CPRC must provide improved service to Canada’s poultry sector from the bottom up – that is, work with regional, provincial and federal organizations to enhance our research and technology transfer capabilities. CPRC staff will contact these organizations to see if CPRC can provide any services or resources to help their operations reach our collective goal of a more robust poultry research community in Canada. The CPRC will also keep these organizations up to date on national initiatives that may benefit Canada’s poultry sector, such as emerging programs from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).
During their annual meeting in July 2008, Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial Ministers of Agriculture endorsed a new initiative to support agricultural research entitled “Growing Forward” and announced $1.3 billion over five years in funding for new programs. This funding represents $330 million more than in the former Agricultural Policy Framework (APF) and will be cost-shared between the Government of Canada and the provincial and territorial governments on a 60:40 basis. AAFC was on hand at the January 23 CPRC meeting to provide details and to discuss how programs emerging from Growing Forward might impact Canada’s poultry sector.
Growing Forward has a strong emphasis on science and innovation programming to enhance sector productivity, profitability and competitiveness. The expected outcome is an accelerated pace of innovation and streamlined adoption of new technologies. Growing Forward will put a great deal of emphasis on research and innovations that can be commercialized in a relatively short timeframe.
There are promising opportunities for the poultry sector to collaborate with AAFC in this respect. Approval of relevant programs is still forthcoming and final details have yet to be announced, however CPRC will continue to keep the lines of communication with AAFC open and stay abreast of all developments. The CPRC will also continue to work with AAFC and other organizations to ensure that projects close to commercialization are balanced with “discovery phase” research; discovery research is that which forms the foundation on which future innovations and commercial products are built.
A NATIONAL SCIENCE STRATEGY
The CPRC is developing a science strategy document for Canada’s poultry sector. Having a national strategy to address the major research, technology transfer and education priorities of Canada’s poultry sector will be crucial to developing stronger partnerships and expanding the voice of poultry research with organizations such as AAFC. The document under development is based on strategic planning sessions held by CPRC, the Poultry Industry Council, Alberta’s Poultry Research Centre, the Saskatchewan Chicken Industry Development Fund and the Atlantic Poultry Research Institute. A preliminary draft is under review by CPRC Members. All federal, regional and provincial poultry industry organizations across Canada will be asked for input on the document in the coming months. CPRC is promoting a collaborative effort among all these organizations to produce a truly national Strategy. This document will be revisited on a regular basis to ensure it continues to represent the needs of our sector. Having a cohesive science strategy for Canada’s poultry sector will provide it with an ongoing reference point not only for use by the sector but also for those with whom it collaborates.
The CPRC has also begun preliminary discussions with AAFC regarding a potential partnership on technology transfer and extension activities – that is, getting research results and general information to the people who can use it. It is envisioned that information gleaned at the national level would be shared with the many regional technology transfer and extension specialists across the country. As mentioned, talks thus far with AAFC are preliminary; we will keep you informed of developments.
Where do we go from here?
It appears that there is both a need and desire for Canada to build a stronger voice and support system for its poultry sector. The CPRC is examining how it will address this challenge in a transparent fashion and, as mentioned, plans to consult with the various industry organizations across Canada in determining where its resources would be best used. We welcome any input as we go through the process.
For more details on these or any other CPRC activities, please contact Gord Speksnijder at The Canadian Poultry Research Council, 483 Arkell Road, R.R. #2, Guelph, Ontario, N1H 6H8, phone: (289) 251-2990, fax: (519) 837-3584, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit us at www.cp-rc.ca.
*The membership of the CPRC consists of the Chicken Farmers of Canada, Canadian Hatching Egg Producers, Canadian Turkey Marketing Agency, Egg Farmers of Canada and the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors’ Council. CPRC’s mission is to address its members’ needs through dynamic leadership in the creation and implementation of programs for poultry research in Canada, which may also include societal concerns.
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