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Technology will play a key factor in this success. Our farmers are among the best in the world and are early adopters of game-changing technology. Cutting-edge digital technologies, including precision agriculture, data collection sensors, analytics and AI (artificial intelligence), can improve output and quality and reduce pesticide and herbicide use.
The combination of agronomy, seed genetics and digital technology can improve productivity and sustainability all along the supply chain. This combination is out of the reach of a one-acre farm in an emerging market, but Canada has the tools and the scale to achieve it.
To fully capitalize on increased global demand for protein and maintain competitiveness, Canada must also build world-class trade infrastructure that integrates roads, rail, ports, containers and intermodal to ensure Canadians can get their products to the global marketplace reliably and cost-effectively.
Canadians are known for being innovative and co-operative, with universities and research organizations willing to partner with the private sector to develop and commercialize innovative products, including zero-carbon fertilizers, new crop varieties and plant-based products and proteins.
The Protein Industries Canada supercluster is one such initiative. Headquartered in Regina, this ambitious project will deploy $152 million in federal funds over three years and leverage over $250 million in industry investments. These investments help ambitious farmers seize the opportunity to make Canada the “First Stop on the Protein Highway”.
This is a generational opportunity for Canadian agriculture, one that will be as important as the arrival of the pioneers to the Prairies.
Canada’s role as a global agricultural powerhouse will be tied to our ability to provide sustainable food to the world for generations.
We have the opportunity — and the duty — to feed the world.
Murad Al-Katib is president and CEO of Regina-based AGT Food and Ingredients Inc.