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$485m in strategic initiatives to boost resilience of Saskatchewan agriculture

Meet the Network

This year’s drought and wildfires are the latest in a series of extreme events to hit Saskatchewan farmers, prompting millions of dollars of investment into strategic initiatives to improve the resilience of agriculture. To support its drive to encourage innovative solutions, the Global Agri-food Advancement Partnership (GAAP) is hosting an online event with Agri-TechE, as part of the long-standing relationship between the two organisations.

Grain and livestock vital

Saskatoon is the largest city in Saskatchewan, a Canadian province located midway between the Coastal Pacific and the Hudson Bay, with the US on its southern border. Forestry and agriculture, in particular grain and livestock, are vital to its economy.

With rainfall well below normal this year, the Saskatchewan government has recently announced a package of support valued at $70 million to offset additional costs for feeding livestock. This follows measures to allow additional acres of cereal, pulse, canola, and flax crops to be diverted to feed.

Opportunity for innovation

Agri-tech to improve the resilience of Saskatchewan agriculture is top of mind for the federal and provincial governments, who have invested $485 million into the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP). This five-year initiative (2023 – 2028) aims to strengthen competitiveness and innovation in Canada’s agri-food and agri-based products sector.

This investment is creating an opportunity in Saskatchewan for innovative agri-tech solutions, says Grayson Berting, Marketing and Communications Manager for GAAP. GAAP is an investment incubator based in Canada, working to advance early and rapid-growth companies that have developed cutting-edge technologies.

Grayson says: “Drought problems have arisen in Western Canada, accompanied by a rise in occurrences of severe weather events like wildfires, unseasonal frost, hailstorms, and tornadoes.

“Additionally, concerns are arising about escalating costs of fuel and fertilizer, as well as the evolving policies related to the usage of fertilizers and chemicals.

“These are all challenges that will be familiar to farmers and ag innovation companies in the UK and beyond, and we are looking to discuss potential solutions at our virtual event in September.”

Saskatchewan farming

Live webinar frames challenge: ‘Increasing the resilience of Saskatchewan agriculture’

In the live webinar, Grayson will be moderating a panel of speakers with diverse perspectives – from production and research through to the requirements of processors, and the opportunities for creating a presence in this diverse ecosystem.

She will be joined by:

  • Susan Jorgensen, Program and Partnerships Manager at GAAP, discussing the support for growth stage businesses.
  • Dr. Karen Churchill, President and CEO of Ag-West Bio, Saskatchewan’s bioscience industry association, who is knowledgeable about the requirements of the food and beverage industry and opportunities for bioprocessing.
  • Clinton Monchuk, grain and egg farmer, and Executive Director at Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan.
  • Scott Wright, Director of the Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE) at the University of Saskatchewan.

Both Clinton and Scott have a keen interest in improving outcomes for the complex livestock/forage industry.

Latest event in longstanding relationship

Agri-TechE has supported a number of programmes initiated by GAAP and Ag-West Bio, including Navigate and VOYAGE. Although all slightly different in focus they have provided opportunities for Agri-TechE members to visit the region, gain introductions to key players and benefit from support to establish a presence in the province.

Grayson will be discussing some of the outcomes from these programmes and the current support available at the virtual event ‘Round the World – Saskatoon, Canada’ on 25 September 2023, from 16:00 – 17:00 BST.