The Government of Canada is investing in the hemp and flax industry so that farmers can harness new opportunities and access new value added markets. A total of $9.6 million will be invested in the Natural Fibres for the Green Economy Network (NAFGEN).
"Our Government is continuing to deliver real results to our farmers, our rural communities and our economy," said Mr. Toews, on behalf of Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "This new, innovative research will explore the full potential of Canadian flax and hemp crops to create better returns for farmers and boost our economy."
Led by Flax Canada 2015 Inc., NAFGEN is a multidisciplinary network that brings together Canada’s top researchers, industry and producers to help create additional profitable natural fibre-based industrial value chains by improving varieties, technologies and processes, and by improving products made out of the natural fibres.
"NAFGEN’s networking approach is significant in that through collaboration of government, university and corporate research facilities and scientists their strengths and specialities are combined," said Barry Hall, President, Flax Canada 2015 Inc. "Working as a team affords the best opportunity for the industry to develop new and improved technology and products for both flax and hemp fibre, thereby enhancing the value of these two crops."
Funding for this project is being provided through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Agricultural Bioproducts Innovation Program (ABIP), a federal funding program designed to integrate Canada’s talent from universities, industry and government in order to stimulate creativity, leverage resources, reduce costs and accelerate progress towards commercialization of bioproducts and bioprocesses.
"The funding for fibre research through the NAFGEN network is important and holds considerable promise for enhancing the value of the flax crop to producers through whole crop utilization," said Eric Fridfinnson, a Manitoba-based flax producer and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Flax Canada 2015 Inc.