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Ottawa invests almost $50M in ag innovation

Ottawa invests almost $50M in ag innovation

The funding will help increase the competitiveness of the national ag sector

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

The federal government has made a multimillion-dollar investment into Canada’s agricultural industry.

Ottawa is providing the Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN), which brings together private businesses to expedite automation and digitization in the ag industry, with $49.5 million in funding.

CAAIN will start with eight members from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec. The Smart Farm at Olds College in Olds, Alta. will serve as a hub to develop and test new tech.

Autonomy and other forms of technology are an integral part of modern farming.

Helping Canadian farmers access new innovations will keep them on the cutting edge of industry developments.

“The future of farming will require farmers to adopt new technologies and processes in order to stay competitive,” Navdeep Bains, the federal minister of innovation, science and economic development, said in a statement yesterday. “By investing in Canadian agricultural innovation, our government is acting to maintain our global leadership in agriculture, while also helping to create and maintain highly skilled jobs across the country.”

Alberta’s Lakeland College will help develop and test a sustainability platform.

Users of the platform can track sustainable practices, said Michael Crowe, vice-president of academic and research with Lakeland College.

“This platform will allow everyone in the ag food value chain – from producers through to retailers – to track and verify sustainable practices in crop and livestock production, which is key to expanding Canadian agricultural products into new markets,” he said in a statement.

The other members of CAAIN are Alberta Innovates, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, Linamar Corp., MDA, DOT Technology Corp. and TrustBIX.

Farms.com has reached out to other members of CAAIN for comment on the investment.

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