From a news release
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lawrence MacAulay, has announced the details of the federal government’s transformational $70M investment, over five years, to address significant environmental challenges and hire approximately 75 scientists and science professionals in emerging fields of agricultural science. The minister made the announcement on Sept. 21 at AAFC’s research centre in Harrow, Ont.
Of this $70M investment, $44M is dedicated to hiring the next generation of federal research scientists and science professionals and equipping them with the state-of-the-art tools they need to advance agricultural research, including environmental sampling equipment and analytical instruments.
Minister MacAulay also announced a new Living Laboratories Initiative, which includes $10M to support collaborative research projects with external partners. Living Laboratories are an integrated approach to agricultural research that bring farmers, scientists and other stakeholders together to co-develop, test and monitor new practices and technologies on farms. The result will be more practical technologies and sustainable farming practices adopted more quickly by Canadian farmers.
The Living Laboratories Initiative led by Canada is a model to the world as other countries also try to improve the resilience and sustainability of their agricultural production. The labs are a nation-wide network of sites where groups both in and outside of government can collaborate to develop and implement innovative solutions to address persistent agri-environmental issues. This Living Labs approach was presented by Minister MacAulay at the G20 Agriculture Ministers meeting in Argentina in July and the initiative was endorsed by ministers in attendance.
In the same spirit of collaboration, the remaining $16M of the $70M is earmarked to fund collaborative federal research projects focused on priority areas affecting the agriculture sector, such as environmental issues. With these funds, researchers will have the support, for example, to find better nutrient management solutions to ensure the health of our waterways.