University of guelph project

University of Guelph

Sustainable Agri-Food Futures

Imagine a world...

where soil is fertile and resilient, contributing to robust food systems for generations to come.

Farmers face more challenges today than ever before. The rising cost of land, pesticides, labour, fertilizers and other resources have made farming economically challenging. Many of these challenges pertain to the pressures imposed by the natural environment, which are being aggravated by the extreme weather events catalyzed by climate change, which are affecting crop yields and quality. By extension, changes in bird migration have resulted in an increased spread of diseases and higher animal mortality. Each challenge has the ability to create a devastating domino effect on agricultural sustainability and prosperity.

Rooted in a systems thinking approach, Innovation North and the University of Guelph are collaborating to identify potential areas to catalyze innovation in the agricultural sector in Southwestern Ontario. Guided by the Innovation North Compass, this project identified soil health as the heart of agri-food sustainable futures. Soil conditions directly influence production processes and costs, and healthy soil facilitates reliable crop yield as well as carbon sequestration, reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

This project aims to uncover opportunities for farmers to improve soil health. But, farmers can’t do it alone. The project will bring farmers together with experts in various domains, including industry associations, small businesses, academics, and government to create new ventures that leverage technologies to foster long-term soil health.

Read more about the collaboration in this blog post, or watch the video below. Farmtario also covered the in-person workshop which took place on April 28, 2023.

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