Hon. Marty Klyne: Honourable senators, I rise today to celebrate an incredible investment in Canadian farmers for the benefit of all Canadians.
Recently, Protein Industries Canada, or PIC — one of the five Innovation Superclusters sponsored by the Government of Canada in a consortium of private-sector companies — announced a $19 million investment deal that will help reduce carbon emissions and improve environmental sustainability, all through the commercialization of Soileos, a new micronutrient fertilizer.
If you haven’t heard of it before, Soileos is an environmentally friendly fertilizer created from the upcycling of pea, lentil and oat hulls. It is sustainable, non-polluting and can help increase crop yields. It is an innovative new product, and according to Protein Industries Canada, initial field trials led to improved protein content in soil health, increased returns for farmers and reduced environmental damage.
Companies who are part of this investment include AGT Food and Ingredients Inc., Lucent Biosciences, NuWave Research, IN10T and Aberhart Ag Solutions. These are private-sector companies both large and small, working together with a federal supercluster to make good things happen for Canadians. As a result of this investment, a new manufacturing plant will be built in Rosetown, Saskatchewan. When completed, this facility will produce up to 6,500 tonnes per year of micronutrient fertilizer and create 25 new jobs for the community. That is incredible.
Honourable senators, this is great news for the agricultural sector. It is an important investment in our farmers and in the people of Saskatchewan and of Western Canada. At a time when food security is top of mind for all Canadians and supply chains are being threatened, we need to do everything we can to support our agricultural sector here at home. This investment does exactly that, and I wish Protein Industries Canada and its industry and academic partners every success as they embark on this and many more new innovative solutions.
I encourage Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada to continue to support PIC’s continued evolution and progress. I hope Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada take stock and promote this innovation with great pride. Thank you.