Climate change is a hot topic of discussion to the chagrin of some industries and the excitement of innovators. Agriculture is an industry at the centre of much of the climate action talk, with an expectation to evolve and adapt.
This year agriculture in Saskatchewan was on stage at COP27, the United Nations’ climate change summit, where organizations from around the world gather to discuss innovations and actions around climate change. Jason McNamee, a bio-geologist, ecology expert and the chief product officer for Lucent Biosciences was on a panel representing the province, its ag innovation legacy, and what’s next.
McNamee says Saskatchewan agriculture has been on the forefront of innovation for a long time. He shares how companies have been finding ways of solving the global problem of increasing productivity while simultaneously improving soil organic carbon for decades. Innovation, especially on the part of agriculture and soil management, is part of Saskatchewan’s heritage, he says. (More below)
McNamee says his key takeaway from COP27 was to focus on outcomes. He says the panelists discussed soil health and how it is measured. McNamee says soil health is a common topic of discussion, but they pointed out that it is outcomes that matter — as long as yields are improving, soil health is too. The panel discussed that COP27 is also looking for an outcome of decreasing in global carbon dioxide production. McNamee says if the knowledge and innovation in Saskatchewan could be exported to the rest of the world, improved outcomes would follow suit.
McNamee discusses the biggest barrier to innovation is policy, specifically registration wait times. While he acknowledges registration rigour is necessary, McNamee raises the point that the registration wait times are approximately two years. He says this is a large barrier for companies as it adds two years onto the timeline of getting a product to the Canadian market.
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