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Governments of Canada, Manitoba invest in pork sector

The aim is to increase the competitiveness and sustainability of pork producers

22 November 2021, at 12:41pm

The governments of Canada and Manitoba are investing $2.2 million in three agricultural research projects, to be conducted by Topigs Norsvin Canada.

The aim of the projects is to enhance the competitiveness of Manitoba pork producers by improving the precision feeding of sows and promoting higher welfare standards, the governments announced Friday.

The three research projects, which will help the pork industry be more environmentally and economically sustainable, will focus on:

  • Improving competitiveness and sustainability of pork production through increased feed efficiency, improved carcass quality and higher animal welfare standards by innovative application of microbiome profiling, computer tomography and genomics
  • Advancing sow reproductive knowledge and management practices for optimal lifetime productivity and embryo transfer success
  • Innovative application of artificial intelligence, machine learning, behavioural science and genomics to enhance resource efficiency for environmental sustainability of sow farms in Manitoba using welfare friendly production.

Funding is provided by the Ag Action Manitoba Program – Research and Innovation, through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

Topigs Norsvin is establishing an over $30-million new research and development facility in Plumas, Manitoba. It is to be completed by the end of 2022 and is aimed at sow management. The research facility will host funded projects and the results will be shared with industry stakeholders. The 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.

“These innovative projects will give the pork industry more tools in their sustainability toolbox," said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. "They will help to improve feeding and housing for the pigs, which leads to better resource efficiency and a reduced environmental footprint for producers. Topigs Norsvin plays a big role in making Canada a global leader in swine genetics, and we are proud to support their work.”