News Release Article from  Western Economic Diversification Canada

Government of Canada invests in Western Canada's Oat Industry

Western Canadian oat producers could soon see greater demand for their crop thanks to federal funding announced today by Tom Lukiwski, Member of Parliament for Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. The funding will support a three year project focused on increasing market demand for western Canadian oats.

Our Government is making a long-term investment to create jobs and economic growth,” said MP Lukiwski. “Developing the western Canadian oat industry through research, while improving international market access for our oat producers, will help strengthen Canada’s economic prosperity. This is especially important in the Prairie Provinces, where approximately 90 per cent of Canada’s oats are produced.

An investment of $195,000 from Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) will assist the Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA) in delivering a three-part exporting initiative. The largest component will bring together equine industry experts to raise awareness of western Canadian oats amongst the U.S. equine feed industry through oat research projects.

As POGA has found transportation costs are a barrier to oat exports, the organization will also bring together transportation stakeholders to discuss ways to reduce transportation costs. Finally, WD funding will help POGA coordinate two trade missions to Mexico to build the international export market for oats.

POGA appreciates WD’s support of initiatives to help western Canadian oat growers regain the lost equine feed market in North America and increase the demand for Canadian oats,” says Bill Wilton, President of the Prairie Oat Growers Association. “POGA’s research has identified the market segments where we need to concentrate and we are looking forward to putting our plan into action.

Prairie Oat Growers Association works to develop and support partnerships in the agricultural industry that will enhance the profitability of oats for the grower and increase its value to the customer. The association represents producers from all three Prairie provinces and works closely with all sectors involved in oats including handling, milling and supply companies.

Since 2006, the Harper Government, through WD, has invested in job-creating small and medium-sized businesses, aerospace, marine and defence industries, and supported innovative entrepreneurs in pursuing emerging markets. By continuing to promote new economic opportunities, WD is helping to create jobs, economic growth, and long-term prosperity.

For additional information, contact:

Joanne Mysak
Communications Manager
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Telephone: 306-975-5942

Shawna Mathieson
Executive Director
Prairie Oat Growers Association
Regina, Saskatchewan
Telephone: 306-530-8545

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Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-877-303-3388
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