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Manitoba and federal governments investing more than $2M in pork industry

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The federal and provincial governments are investing more than $2 million to help improve the competitiveness and sustainability of pork producers in Manitoba.

The two governments announced Friday morning that they will be investing a combined $2.2 million which will go toward three research projects.

Topigs Norsvin Canada will be conducting the projects and they include:

· Increased feed efficiency, improved carcass quality and higher animal welfare standards by innovative application of microbiome profiling, computer tomography and genomics;

· Improving knowledge regarding sow reproduction and management practices for optimal lifetime productivity and embryo transfer success; and

· Innovative application of artificial knowledge intelligence, machine learning, behavioural science and genomics to enhance resource efficiency for environmental sustainability of sow farms in Manitoba using welfare-friendly production.

“Today’s consumers are turning to Canadian pork because of its safety, quality and sustainability,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, the federal minister for Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Bibeau said the three projects will be completed at Topigs Norsvin’s new research facility in Manitoba.

This new facility will be in Plumas, Man., and it is scheduled to be finished by the end of 2022.

“The first of its kind in the world, these projects will utilize leading-edge artificial intelligence, computer vision, behavioural research and precision feeding to generate a database comprised of important animal health and welfare data,” the province said in a news release.

“Our shared vision is to make a global leader in sustainable agriculture production,” said Bibeau.

Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Ralph Eichler said the Agri-Food industry plays a vital role in Manitoba’s economy.

“Manitoba is developing an international reputation as a centre for pork excellence, for research, for development, swine genetics and pork production, said Eichler.

“Our government is pleased to support the work of our producers through these innovative projects that will accelerate agricultural innovation, promote knowledge transfer to producers, advance value-added opportunities, strengthen competitiveness and support sustainable agricultural development in our provincial pork industry.”

Funding for these projects is coming from the Ag Action Manitoba Program-Research and Innovation, through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.