Ottawa funds Pulse Canada projects

Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay has announced $575,000 in federal funding through Growing Forward 2 for three Pulse Canada projects.

The organization will receive $178,500 to explore new markets in China, eastern Asia, the United States and Canada. A further $221,680 from the same program is going toward a pulse promotion to the food service industry.

As well, $175,721 through AgriInnovation will be used to expand pulse use in China and investigate the health benefits of eating pulse snacks in that country.

MacAulay, who made the announcement at a Saskatchewan Pulse Growers regional meeting in Regina Jan. 5, also said the government continues to press India for a resolution to both the fumigation and tariff issues that have hampered Canadian pulse exports.

He said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will address the concerns when he meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi this month.

“You can be well assured that this will be at the top of his agenda,” he told the meeting.

India moved last week in its budget to add a 10 percent tax to import duties, meaning the 30 percent duty on chickpeas and lentils is now 33 percent.

Pulse Canada chief executive officer Gordon Bacon said the Indian government is interventionist and clearly imposing duties and import quotas to boost domestic production.

“We can ask for some clarification on some key issues; whether we get them from India is sort of out of our control, frankly,” he said.

Opening new markets and developing new uses for pulses are essential going forward, he said.

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