Make ag research a priority

Back in January the Country Guide magazine published a story about Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) dropping “food and agriculture” from its list of targeted areas for research funding. Here’s a link to the story in Country Guide if you want to read it: http://www.country-guide.ca/issues/story.aspx?aid=1000400024 

To feed a growing world population, Canadian farmers have and continue to produce more food with fewer resources. And this is thanks to new research and technologies, which is why it’s imperative that Canada continue to fund ag and food research.

While most countries are increasing their investments in ag research, Canada is decreasing its investment and therefore falling behind. According to the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has seen its total funding cut 42 per cent from an average of $4.5 billion between 2004 and 2008 to $2.57 billion for 2011 to 2012. 

Earlier this month the Canadian Federation of Agriculture encouraged farm families to follow the election closely and insist that their local candidates make ag research and innovation a priority. I think that all Canadians, not just farm families, need to make this an election issue. After all, all Canadians are impacted by agriculture.  

If Canada wants to regain its footing as a leader in ag and food research, we need to pump more money into public ag research. As the federal election approaches, take the time to let your candidates know that this should be a priority.

What do you think? Share your thoughts by commenting on this post or send me an email. Thanks!

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