Guelph — The Ontario government is taking action to support the agri-food industry by investing $7.25 million in 50 Ontario-led research and innovation projects. These projects will help develop new innovative technologies, practices and solutions to make Ontario’s agri-food sector more competitive and productive.
“Some of the most advanced agri-food research in the world is happening right here in Ontario, and our government is proud to support made-in-Ontario solutions that will deliver good return on investment and strengthen our local food supply chain,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Through our partnership with the University of Guelph, we are helping Ontario’s agri-food sector grow and innovate so that farmers can remain competitive on a global scale, and Ontario can continue to be a leader in agri-food.”
Ontario’s investments are being made through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, a collaboration between the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and the University of Guelph that works to advance the next generation of agri-food innovations.
These projects focus on four research categories: environmental stewardship and food safety, economic and rural development, animal health and welfare, and plant health and protection.
“The University of Guelph is a leader in agri-food research and innovation, putting Ontario at the forefront of sustainable environmental practices, innovative farming management and ensuring that the people of Ontario can access safe foods produced right here in this province,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “Our government is proud to support postsecondary research that advances knowledge, drives economic growth and creates a healthier future for Ontarians.”
Among the projects selected for funding are:
- Development of biological control tactics for use in an Integrated Pest Management program for multiple thrips species in Ontario greenhouse crops (Rose Buitenhuis, Plant Health and Protection)
- Assessment, simulation and optimization of a prototype net zero energy greenhouse for Ontario (William Lubitz, Environmental Stewardship)
Agri-food innovations developed by University of Guelph researchers help advance farming management practices, improve production efficiency, and drive economic growth. This research, supported by the province, benefits the people of Ontario by helping to ensure food grown and produced here remains healthy, safe and nutritious.
“The University of Guelph is committed to working with farmers, business leaders and government partners to advance a sustainable and competitive agri-food sector at home in Ontario and around the world,” said Charlotte Yates, U of G President. “OMAFRA’s investment in U of G’s world-class research faculty will support the creation of innovative solutions that improve life on farms, in small businesses and along the links of the agri-food value chain.”
The Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance is a significant economic driver for the province, returning approximately $1.4 billion annually to Ontario’s economy and promoting food stability in the province. Since 2018, Ontario has invested approximately $270 million in the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance to support research and innovation, further the development of new food products and agricultural advancements, and drive economic growth in the sector.