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Research on global food security receives a boost in Canada

The new Roots of Food Security research facility at the University of Saskatchewan received $800,000 from the province; work there will focus on improving crop yields to feed a hungry planet


Regina, Sask. – Research on global food security received a boost through a recent funding announcement by the government of Saskatchewan.

The provincial government, through its Innovation and Science Fund, is providing the new Roots of Food Security research facility at the University of Saskatchewan with $800,000.

The new facility, says Innovation Saskatchewan in a statement (“Provincial Funding Provided to Address Global Food Security” on March 22, 2018), is located on the university’s campus and it also supports the school’s Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Food Systems and Security research program.

That program is led by plant scientist Leon Kochian, a faculty member in plant and soil science at the university’s College of Agriculture and BioResources.

Kochian, says the statement, is also Associate director of the Global Institute for Food Security, which was established in 2012 by PotashCorp, the province of Saskatchewan and the university.

The new facility

Innovation Saskatchewan says the new facility will focus on research on “designing and breeding better crops with healthier, more active and more efficient root systems that can grow successfully in less fertile soils.

The goal is to position Saskatchewan as a national driver for change in agricultural and food security issues facing Canada and the world in the 21st century.”

The statement says the total cost of the new facility is $2 million. The Canada Foundation for Innovation has contributed $800,000, the university has contributed $9,000, and $391,000 came from in-kind contributions of cutting-edge technology from vendors.

Karen Chard, the university’s vice-president of Research, says in the statement that the funding support will help keep the university on top of research to help meet food challenges. She adds that the university already has some world-renowned talent, “but now also the unique tools to conduct cutting-edge root systems research that will improve crop yields and help feed a hungry world.”


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