How the Fraser Valley’s Modern Farming Community Is Driving the Evolution of AGTech on a Global Scale
Divided by the Vedder River and Sumas Mountain, the Fraser Valley ranks first in BC’s AG-driven economy with over $1 billion in gross farm income generated every year. As a result, the region is quickly becoming known as the AGTech Capital of Canada. Characterized by a gentler climate in winter months and intensely heated summers, this new title comes as no surprise.
Local farmers are armed with more than ideal growing conditions, terrain, weather, and viable water sources, providing them with the groundwork to grow diverse crops, including many fruits and vegetables in high demand and exported across the globe. Plus, with proximity to educational and research institutions, the region is becoming an epicentre for production and innovation, developing and producing world-class agriculture technology, known as “AGTech”.
For example, homegrown agriculture and food tech companies Agrilyze and DirectFood.store are joining hands to advance the food supply chain and improve food traceability. Since 71% of Canadians say they need to understand where their food comes from, these technological advancements play a huge role in helping the region progress.
Still, looking toward the future, the Fraser Valley faces many challenges, ranging from the seasonality of production to labour costs and supply to globalization and more. And like other farming regions worldwide, one of the biggest dilemmas we have to confront or face dire consequences, climate change.
For this particular reason, the agriculture industry is examining the foundations of farming and re-evaluating traditional methods of planting, collecting, and selling crops. A modern approach has been imminent for decades, and today, as the Fraser Valley leads the way, we are witnessing our paradigm shift. The Modern Farming Community changes our framework, including policies and approaches, to redefine how we acknowledge our conditions as much as changing the tools themselves.
More so focused on building farming systems that create beneficial outcomes, such as increased productivity and positive changes in socio-economic and environmental conditions, the MFC benefits impact farmers directly, not to mention our entire society. The main drivers, in this case, innovation, sustainability, and reliability are helping to transform the agriculture industry one step at a time.
The transformation includes sharing our successes and encouraging those with access to technology to consider developing stronger, smarter, and more advanced processes that also go beyond our regular expectations. Simply “do more with less” and ensure our actions lead to a reduced negative impact on our planet.
Our mission then is to continue to deliver real and sustainable technology solutions that will empower our people and planet on a local scale to make a global impact. The MFC concept is now at the precipice of attention and more relevant than ever as the agriculture industry evolves amidst the current crises and a rapidly growing population.
Farmers today are asking how a more modern approach can and will create substantial change, change that will protect and enrich the soil, reduce water needs, and decrease energy costs, just to name a few aspects. And connected to this, knowledge has become a considerable part of the bigger picture. Yet, we are still enthralled by our romantic vision of the traditional farmer, wheat in the mouth, tractor driving into the sunset.
Nevertheless, the picture has become much more significant. It is now comprised of a repository of technologies, ranging from drones, robotics, vertical farming operations, GIS, and GPS to the application of AI, machine learning systems, and more. Our farmers and others worldwide are using AGTech to help overcome new barriers or obstacles concerning productivity and the overall efficiency of their land.
The onset of the AGTech movement or our Modern Farming Community is giving our farmers a choice – intensify innovative, sustainable, and reliable practices that enable more intelligent, precision technologies or face the fate of the worldwide population rising to 9 billion by 2050.
As the Fraser Valley’s farming community evolves, newer methods are being used to optimize farm output. This includes adopting modern technologies that save time and costs. And as we develop more answers and solutions, the question becomes – how can we amalgamate the MFC fundamentals (innovation, sustainability, and reliability) with pure, actionable knowledge to continue to drive the changes that we see today?
Without a doubt, technology has become the baseline allowing us to meet our current and future needs for food, fibre, feed, and fuel. Our Modern Farming Community is the beginning of our examination. We must recognize the state of our planet and invest in developing new technologies to confront our challenges head-on and headstrong, causing a ripple effect of change.
So, unleash the power of AGTech to solve some of the world’s biggest problems? Yes, indeed. After all, we are now relying on agricultural innovations to increase the production of major crops – why wouldn’t we use it to help define a whole new planet? The pursuit starts right here, in the Fraser Valley, the AGTech Capital of Canada.