Windsor

Soybean industry gets $250K from Ottawa to expand market

Investment is to increase production of soy milk and is targeted mainly at expansion in the Asian soy food market.
Essex Conservative MP Jeff Watson says soybeans are a key crop in Essex County. (Lisa Xing/CBC)

Canada's soybeans could be going global after the industry got a financial boost from the federal government Friday.

Essex Conservative MP Jeff Watson, on behalf of Minister of Agriculture Gerry Ritz, announced a $225,000 investment for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientists to work with the Canadian Soybean Exporters' Association.

The money is to be used to boost the global competitiveness of food-grade soybeans.

The announcement was made in Harrow, Ont., where Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientists at the Greenhouse and Processing Crops Research Centre will develop quality control tools to help ensure crops meet the specific quality attributes in demand for soybeans in global markets.

The scientists' objective is to evaluate Canadian soybean suitability for soy milk and is targeted mainly at the Asian soy food market, which the federal government said was worth $880 million in 2014.

Watson called Asia a "massive consumer market."

"Soybeans are a rapidly expanding crop in Canada and a key crop in Essex County," Watson said in a media release. "This investment will help ensure the long-term prosperity of the sector through the use of innovative technologies by helping exporters, producers and soybean breeders select the best soybeans that meet consumer and market demands."

Watson said a profitable agricultural sector benefits all Canadians.

"Growers right here in Essex County can use this research to grow the right variety. It can boost our GDP right here in Essex County," Watson said.

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