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Alberta investing $3.2M in agriculture ‘smart’ technology sector

Wind turbine renewable energy power generation in canola field near Pincher Creek, Alberta, Canada. (Photo: iStock)

The province is investing just over $3 million in new tech in the agri-food sector.

Smart agriculture is the development and application of innovative technology to increase the quantity and quality of agriculture and agri-food products, according to the Government of Alberta.

The 10 projects will help to increase productivity, and reduce waste and your eco-footprint of agricultural production, says the government.

“Feeding a hungry planet is a challenge for the whole world. The technologies and innovations developed right here in Alberta, through the Smart Agriculture and Food Digitalization and Automation Challenge program will address that challenge head-on. We congratulate all the successful applicants in this year’s competition and we can’t wait to see what comes next.” said Laura Kilcrease, CEO of Alberta Innovates

The projects aim to develop smart technologies to enhance food production through digital solutions and automation including a special camera to capture images of farmland from space.

“Alberta’s agri-food sector is growing exponentially, another indicator of the strength of our province’s innovation economy. This investment supports more made-in-Alberta solutions to address challenges in the agri-food sector and will increase competitiveness on the global stage. We are seeing economic diversification in our province and advances in agricultural technology is a perfect example,” said Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy, and Innovation

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Alberta’s NDP says instead of re-announcing last year’s grants the UCP should be undoing the damage they’ve already done to the sector.

The opposition also says there’s a lot of potentials but the government’s attack on postsecondary is driving innovators out of the province.

–With files from Lisa Grant