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Modernizing Ontario agricultural research

The Ontario government is updating legislation to strengthen the agriculture and food industry through research and innovation.

Changes to the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario Act (ARIO) would, if passed, broaden the scope of research in Ontario to help the agri-food industry stay on the cutting edge of best production practices and implement new technologies and innovative techniques that will increase the competitiveness and productivity of the sector.

“To maintain Ontario’s position as a world leader in agriculture and food research, it is vital that we support growth, competitiveness and innovation in the industry,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Our proposed updates to the ARIO Act will strengthen the agri-food supply chain, increase technology and adoption, drive opportunities for commercialization and attract and grow talent - all key components of our Grow Ontario Strategy.”

The Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO) was created in 1962 to advocate for areas of research for the betterment of agriculture, veterinary medicine and household sciences. Proposed changes to the ARIO Act would broaden the areas of research to better reflect today’s research needs and those in the future including digital agriculture, environmental sustainability and value-add agri-food products, along with more socially focused research.

The proposed changes are the result of input received during an extensive consultation process with Indigenous communities, industry stakeholders and academia.

“For more than 60 years, the ARIO Act has served Ontario’s agri-food industry well by supporting research that directly benefits farmers,” said Lorne Hepworth, chair of the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario. “The proposed changes will strengthen the ARIO’s decades of work by expanding the scope of research to be more relevant today and serve the future needs of our agriculture and food industry.”

The ARIO owns 14 research stations across the province that provide industry with the latest in agricultural and food specific research.

Source : The Grower

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