07/18/2012 06:19 EDT | Updated 09/17/2012 05:12 EDT

Hemp Into Fibre: Ottawa Puts Up Money To Spin Hemp And Flax Into Fibre

Flickr: Camira Fabrics

SASKATOON - Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says Ottawa is putting money into a Saskatoon company that turns waste flax and hemp straw into high-quality fibre.

Ritz says Advanced Foods and Materials Canada is getting $500,000.

The company also produces micro-nutrients for food and health products.

Ritz says there's potential to turn wheat straw into a value-added product used in pharmaceuticals, the oil and gas sector and in mining.

He says the biomaterials are worth thousands of dollars a tonne and a lot of that money would flow back to farmers.

He says the investment is a good way to develop processing across Western Canada.

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