REGINA — The federal government is spending more than $835,000 to help the pedigreed seed industry develop an automated system for seed crop certification.
Conservative MP Tom Lukiwski told members of the Canadian Seed Growers Association that Ottawa’s contribution will help modernize the pedigreed seed certification process.
The new on-line system will replace three-part paper forms that were used in the past. Under the new system, seed growers and seed crop inspectors will submit paperwork electronically.
“Having a modernized certification system in place will provide markets with reliable access to consistently high quality seed varieties and ensure that Canadian seeds remain competitive, both domestically and internationally,” said Lukiwski, who made the announcement July 9.
Development of the new certification system coincides with government-initiated efforts to privatize seed crop inspections.
Beginning this year, authorized private-sector companies will conduct many inspections previously conducted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
The CFIA will continue inspections on some seed crops, including plots and crops of higher pedigree.
It will also oversee private sector inspectors to ensure that proper standards are upheld.
The CSGA has taken steps to accommodate privatization. An on-line inspection system is now being used across the country.
Privatization has also resulted in higher inspection fees, which are paid by seed growers and, in many cases, passed on to farmers who buy pedigreed seed.
“We’re committed to alternative service delivery for seed crop inspection in Canada , while maintaining the integrity and reputation Canada has developed for certified seed,” said CSGA executive director Dale Adolphe.