Securing Food Supply

HEALTHIER, MORE SUSTAINABLE FARMING PRACTICES FOR CANADIANS 


A growing population signals a global challenge requiring we grow food more efficiently and with greater nutritional value. A strong agricultural sector coupled with biotech innovation will position Canada and Canadian farmers to take advantage of the global opportunity.  

  • Feeding the world's growing population, projected to surpass 9 billion by 2050, requires farmers to produce 70% more food on less land than ever before
  • One in every eight Canadian jobs is related to agriculture - plant science technologies generate $7.9 billion in annual economic activity.
  • Innovation enables Canadian farmers to remain globally competitive with crops requiring less fertilizers, pesticides and water.
  • Adding nutrients to existing staples (eg: golden rice) is an example of the enormous potential in the agricultural biotech space. 


BIOTECH IN CANADIAN AGRICULTURE

For over 10 years, Canadian farmers have been choosing to plant biotech crops. Plant science allows for the development of crops to help farmers control weeds and insects while increasing yields. Worldwide genetically modified crops are now planted on over one billion acres in 25 countries. In 2005, the rice genome was mapped, and projects to sequence soybean, corn, cattle and pig genomes were announced. With increased knowledge of plants through genome sequencing projects we will see continued improvements in yield and quality of food crops.


ECONOMIC BENEFITS

Canola growers have chosen to grow biotech varieties on over 70% of Canada's 12 million canola acres. Herbicide-tolerant varieties allow farmers to plant earlier in the springtime and control weeds better, meaning greater yields. GM canola varieties have allowed farmers to save an estimated 8.2 million gallons of fuel and earned, on average, $10 more per acre. (Canola Council of Canada)

CLEANER ENVIRONMENT

Insect-resistant genetically modified crops protect themselves from pests and do not require insecticide sprays. Worldwide, over 100 million pounds of insecticides are not sprayed because of genetically modified crops. The adoption of herbicide tolerant crops has resulted in greater adoption of low and no-till farming systems, saving millions of acres from soil erosion.

HEALTHIER FOODS

Increased yields and less exposure to harmful toxins are a few of the well documented benefits of growing insect-resistant GM crops. In the future, consumers will be able to choose fruits and vegetables that stay fresh longer and grains that contain essential micronutrients or healthier oils.


FOOD SECURITY

Biotechnology is helping to develop crop varieties that will provide high yields under drought or poor soil conditions. Canadian researchers have identified a gene that controls how plants minimize water loss in hot temperatures, an important step toward improving food security around the world.

Partnership Program

Platinum

AbbVie

Biogen Idec

Genzyme

vwr

Gold

Alexion