The governments of Canada and Ontario will spend $2.6 million on Ontario-led agri-food research to develop new technologies, practices, and solutions for the sector.
Funding through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) will support programs focusing on enhancing food safety, developing innovative production systems, and increasing plant health and protection, the province says.
Some of the proposed projects include:
- Reducing food waste by finding solutions through compostable plastic products and up cycling opportunities;
- Improving training of workers involved in food processing using digital simulations for more interactive safety training in meat plants; and,
- Enhancing detection of plant viruses using new technologies to help avoid production and economic losses and maintain plant health.
To bring new technologies and processes to market, and address existing issues in the food supply chain, the Ontario Agri-Food Research Initiative (OAFRI) will support 21 projects that seek to help provide Ontarians with safer, healthier, and more locally grown and made food items while boosting trade and rural economic development.
Lisa Thompson, Ontario Minister of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, says they are committed to investing in advanced agri-food research to help this critical sector be more competitive.
“The results of these research projects are going to help farmers, food processors, and businesses across the entire industry with new knowledge, technologies, and innovative solutions that will build resiliency into our agricultural practices now and in the future,” says Minister Thompson.
The 15 Ontario research organizations that will receive funds will train 65 students, leveraging an additional $1.6 million in funding partnerships with industry and non-government organizations, the government says.