Mustard seed producers in Canada received a boost – a $4 million boost – from the federal government in July.
The investment went to Mustard 21 Canada Inc., a non-profit corporation that was set up in 2007 by industry groups.
Mustard 21 is an industry-driven initiative aimed at expanding mustard use at home and abroad. Its mandate is to increase domestic processing, extraction and use of mustard seed from approximately 13 per cent of 240,000 hectares to 50 per cent of 500,000 hectares of production.
It also aims to create a vibrant Canadian mustard industry and increase its present value of $72 million to $500 million through developing new products and applications.
This latest government investment will work toward meeting these objectives.
Mustard 21 is led by the Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission and the Canadian Mustard Association.
“This investment will help unlock the potential of mustard seed, finding new ways to use it beyond the hamburger, and expanding markets for our farmers,” says Gerry Ritz, Canada’s Agriculture minister.
Canada is the largest exporter of mustard seed in the world and this research will encourage more producers to grow it by increasing yields and developing new mustard-based products beyond the condiment market.
Researchers will examine the potential use of mustard as a natural preservative, as a biopesticide for pest control in turf and ornamental plants, and as an industrial feedstock for high-value applications such as biodiesel additives or biolubricants.
“The support from the government of Canada for the ‘Innovate Mustards’ project is vital to Mustard 21 Canada’s implementation of its key strategic priorities,” says Dr. Pete Desai, president of Mustard 21.
“These priorities include developing competitive crops through better varieties and weed control to maintain the Canadian production advantage in the global markets, as well as creating new domestic value added products from mustard.”
Scott Research Farm
The announcement was made at Scott Research Farm in Saskatchewan. The farm was celebrating its 100th year of service to Canadian farmers.
The Research Farm was established in 1910 as part of the Experimental Farm Station Act, with the main goal of helping settlers adapt to the soils and climate of the region.
As time went by, it adapted to work on new problems and opportunities that include soil quality, alternative crops and biotechnology.