In one of the world’s oldest industries, advancements big and small can have significant impact on the lives of farmers and their products
DAVE SMARDON President and CEO, Bioenterprise
Canada is leading the advancement of agricultural technologies, with our solutions at the forefront of the global ag-tech ecosystem. The Canadian ag-tech sector sees vast national growth at more than 12 percent annually. One in eight Canadians is employed in the agricultural sector, a highly trained workforce in technology integration and application. Canada uses innovation to address diverse environmental and production challenges, with a focus on providing cutting-edge answers to the world’s agricultural needs through technology. In short, Canada is a major player in the revolution of one of the largest and oldest global sectors.
There are technologies emerging from Canada’s superclusters in protein and digital technologies, and Canada’s ag-tech-focused universities and colleges connect directly to industry with products tested through industry-leading applied research. Aquaculture, precision agriculture, protein development, digital agriculture and indoor farming are only a few of the areas where research has connected with Government of Canada support to create a leading presence in global markets. Canada is also the fifth largest exporter of agri-food products globally, with $56 billion in export sales. The momentum from this international trade drives Canadian ag-tech to the forefront of new tech.
It may be no surprise to learn that, because of Canada’s vast geography, many provinces and territories are comprised of large areas of diverse climates and conditions that can be challenging for livestock or crop production. For this reason, innovation is key, and the effects are not just confined to our borders. Canada has a large ecosystem in the space of reclaiming agricultural waste products into usable bio-products or bio-energy, with practical applications around the world. Core national issues such as sustainable alternatives in soil reclamation can help counter the burning of crop residue in other countries, like India and surrounding regions. And for livestock, companies working in the Fraser Valley in British Columbia are adapting to limited land space by developing innovative indoor production solutions, which can be useful in land-constrained countries like Singapore. Northern Canada is also making vast leaps forward in mobile indoor farming technologies, which are invaluable to harsher climates with extreme temperatures.
With such diversity and resilience in both geography and population, coupled with the immense expertise that leaders in the sector bring to the table, and the on-going national support for ag-tech initiatives, Canada represents a significant global force for agricultural innovation.