Agricultural productivity must rise to meet the challenge of feeding a global population of 9 billion by 2050.
As of 2014, the Canadian agriculture and food sectors were worth C$108.1 billion and employed more than 2.3 million people, with the UK’s agri-food sector worth £109 billion a year and employing 4 million. There are significant opportunities for both countries to increase exports into a rapidly growing global market.
Collaborating to leverage new technologies, such as precision farming and genetics, could help to realise this opportunity, increase productivity and reduce the considerable environmental impact of food production.
UK and Canada working together
The UK and Canada have both identified the agri-food sector as of strategic economic importance and made significant investments in agri-food research.
By working together, the UK and Canada can meet the challenges facing the agri-food sector and create economic benefit. Work is already underway to support closer collaboration: a mission by Innovate UK to Canada in 2017 helped to establish international connections and identify a number of priority themes of mutual interest.
The outcomes of these meetings are presented in this report as roadmaps, based on the following themes:
- improving the food manufacturing chain
- genomics and breeding to tackle pests and disease
- antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial use
- phenotyping: collection of biological data
- diagnostics and sensor technologies
- understanding soil health
- improving feed efficiency
- data standards, better connectivity and analytics