Provincial and Federal Governments Commit More Than $406,000 to Agri-Health Research Network in Manitoba

March 21, 2011

The Governments of Canada and Manitoba are committing $406,000 in funding in 2010/11 to the Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network Inc. (MAHRN) to support the further research, development and commercialization of projects that identify links between food components and health, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Stan Struthers and Member of Parliament Shelly Glover (Saint Boniface), on behalf of Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced today.

“Never before has the term ‘you are what you eat’ been more applicable – as the science of food meshes with the science of good health,” said Minister Struthers. “Application of this research is helping to advance valuable diet-related solutions to a variety of chronic health conditions, which is good news for all of us.”

“Our government is proud to support agriculture-related research projects that promote healthy living for all Canadians,” said MP Glover. “Right here in Manitoba, three internationally recognized facilities conduct research to develop health benefit links to the nutritious food grown by prairie farmers.”

Funding of $281,300 is provided on a 60/40 basis through Growing Forward, a federal-provincial-territorial agreement that encourages innovations that will add to agricultural-based value chains. An additional $125,000 is provided through Manitoba Innovation, Energy and Mines.

“We are pleased to provide support for research that will expand the innovative capacity of the food-related industry in Manitoba,” said Dave Chomiak, Manitoba Minister of Innovation, Energy and Mines.

“These funds will strengthen the core Manitoba-based research program developed through earlier MAHRN initiatives,” said MAHRN chair Peter Zahradka. “It will also enhance the capacity to advance several made-in-Manitoba discoveries that have huge potential for improving human health.”

MAHRN promotes Manitoba’s capacity and capabilities in the research, development and commercialization of functional foods and nutraceuticals. Anchored by world-class facilities including the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine located in the St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre, the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals located at the Fort Garry campus of the University of Manitoba and the Food Development Centre located in Portage la Prairie. Research at these facilities helps link the health benefits of prairie-grown and made foods to diets that can reduce the incidence of chronic diseases. Manitoba is a ‘one-stop shop’ for the testing and assessment of plant and animal-based bioactive compounds from the producer through clinical proof of safety and efficacy to product development and commercialization. More information is available on-line at

In March 2010, MAHRN released a study, “Benchmarking Study of the Existing Science Base Supporting a Canadian Climate Advantage Diet,” that identifies potential savings in excess of $19 billion annually in the current costs of treating chronic health conditions by incorporating functional foods and nutraceuticals (FFN) into people’s diets. In 2007, Manitoba’s total revenue from FFN was $158 million.

A listing of research projects is available on line at:

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“We are pleased to provide support for research that will expand the innovative capacity of the food-related industry in Manitoba.” -Dave Chomiak