The Centre for Sustainable Food Production
The world needs to produce at least 50% more food to feed 9 billion people by 2050. However, climate change and the depletion of natural resources present significant challenges. There is urgent need to develop alternative sustainable food production systems, reduce organic waste and improve the efficacy of food systems at commercially viable scales. This CFI investment will enable Lethbridge College to create the Centre for Sustainable Food Production to help industry develop innovative technologies that: (1) convert manure and other wastes into highly efficient, soluble fertilizers; (2) improve the delivery of soluble fertilizers by optimizing fertigation systems; (3) improve organic crop production through optimized pest management (bio-pesticides); and (4) maximize greenhouse production through vertical aquaponics.
CFI funding will be used to construct a 10,000 sq. ft. research greenhouse and header house, purchase supporting laboratory equipment, greenhouse hardware, and fertigation technology. The greenhouse will provide a much needed validation tool, mirroring the exact conditions for commercial production and support research in the four identified pillars. This research aligns with the Alberta’s Research and Innovation Framework Action Plan 2017-2020, to reduce organic waste by 50% and support innovation targets to produce new, value-added products using agricultural waste. The outcomes will benefit Alberta’s farmers who produce 53 million tonnes of manure per year.