Food Security Receives Funding Boost
The Roots of Food Security research facility at the University of Saskatchewan was established to support crop research efforts for the Global Institute of Food Security and other agricultural research institutions.
Research to tackle global food security received a major boost in March, as the Government of Saskatchewan announced $800,000 in funding for state-of-the-art equipment in a new Roots of Food Security research facility at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S).
The money will be provided by Innovation Saskatchewan, through its Innovation and Science Fund. The facility, located on the U of S campus, supports the school’s Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Food Systems and Security research program.
The program is led by internationally recognized plant scientist Leon Kochian, a faculty member in plant and soil science at the U of S College of Agriculture and BioResources.
Kochian is also Associate Director of the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS), established in 2012 by PotashCorp (now Nutrien), the Government of Saskatchewan and the U of S.
Research at the facility will focus on designing and breeding better crops with healthier, more active and more efficient root systems that can grow successfully in less fertile soils. The goal is to position Saskatchewan as a national driver for change in agricultural and food security issues facing Canada and the world in the 21st century.
The total cost for the new facility is $2 million, and additional funds will be provided by the Canada Foundation for Innovation ($800,000), the U of S ($9,000) and $391,000 in in-kind contributions of cutting-edge technology from vendors.
There are currently approximately 40 engineers working on projects directed by GIFS.