Lawrence MacAulay, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food has said that our government is proud to invest in solutions that will help producers in British Columbia address agriculture’s challenges. These innovative projects will strengthen the sector and reflect our commitment to advance innovation in agriculture while creating good middle-class jobs for Canadians.
Lana Popham, B.C.’s Minister of Agriculture said that it’s always amazing, but never surprising, to see the innovative work that organizations are doing to create a more sustainable future. The work that UBC and FoodMesh are doing reflects the spirit of the Canada-B.C. agri-innovation program to ‘enhance competitiveness, sustainability, productivity and resiliency.
Local organizations are partnering with the federal and provincial governments to develop innovative ways to save pollinators and combat food waste in British Columbia.
While honeybees play a key role in agriculture, various diseases and pests have threatened Canada’s honeybee population in recent decades. In a previous project, the University of British Columbia (UBC) developed a tool to identify and breed bees with enhanced resistance to disease. Building upon its earlier work, UBC has initiated a new project to develop a probiotic treatment to control disease. The practical knowledge from this research will give beekeepers better tools to treat and monitor hive health, strengthening the honeybee population further.
This project is just one of a number of research projects that UBC is partnering with the federal and provincial governments on, to help farmers, growers, producers and processors become more competitive.
Another project by Vancouver-based network FoodMesh will help reduce the amount of useable food making its way to the landfill each year.
FoodMesh matches demand and supply more efficiently to reduce food wasted along the supply chain. The network consists of investors, businesses, growers, processors and charity organizations working with the shared goal of reducing the amount of usable food ending up in landfills each year. This social enterprise will better connect B.C. producers to new economic prospects by including access to animal feed and new markets for unsold food products.
The UBC and FoodMesh projects highlight a small sample of the 20 innovative ideas that B.C.-based organizations are working on to build a more sustainable future, with nearly $1.5 million in funding from the Canada-British Columbia Agri-Innovation Program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The partnership is a five-year federal-provincial-territorial agreement that includes $2 billion in cost-shared strategic initiatives delivered by the provinces and territories, and $1 billion for federal programs and services through March 2023.
Photo from change.org and iPolitics