HARROW, Ontario – Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food, Lawrence MacAulay, announced plans to spend C$70 million over five years in support of agricultural science research and innovation initiatives.

“This investment allows us to hire the next generation of world-class scientists here in Harrow and across the country and will help give our farmers the tools they need to grow their businesses for years to come,” MacAulay said. “This transformational investment demonstrates our government’s strong commitment to science and our focus on the agriculture sector as a primary economic driver for creating good jobs and growing the middle class.”

MacAulay, discussing details of the government’s plan, said C$44 million is earmarked for hiring approximately 75 scientists and science professionals in emerging fields of agricultural science. The government also will invest in technologies that will advance research, including environmental sampling equipment and analytical instruments.

A new Living Laboratories program will receive C$10 million. Living Laboratories are a nationwide network of sites where government and private industry can collaborate to find solutions to persistent agri-environmental challenges while supporting sustainable farming practices.

Finally, C$16 million is dedicated to collaborative federal research projects focused on environmental issues affecting the agriculture sector, such as developing nutrient management systems to ensure the health of Canada’s waterways.

Dr. Mona Nemer, chief science advisor of Canada, said the research done by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is critical to the country’s food supply and food security. “Increasing the number of researchers who carry out this important work will support agricultural discovery and innovation,” Nemer said. “It is a good step towards ensuring that decision makers have access to the scientific evidence they need to help keep Canada’s food supply safe, healthy and sustainable.”