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Government of Canada partners with civil society organizations to create new sustainable agriculture research network

Press Release

From: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
March 19, 2024

Investment in research is key to driving better outcomes for the agricultural sector and positioning Canada to seize the economic opportunities of a net-zero future.

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced an investment of $1.9 million in the Common Ground Canada Network project led by Karen Foster, Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Rural Futures for Atlantic Canada, at Dalhousie University.

This investment, made through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Network on Sustainable Agriculture in a Net-Zero Economy initiative, supported by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, will focus on the development of this new national research network while also working to advance sustainable agricultural sectors and food systems to support a just transition to net-zero in Canada.

Producers are already taking action to make their operations more sustainable, efficient and profitable: for example, by adopting no-till approaches, cover cropping and precision agriculture. This knowledge sharing network will help amplify the work already underway and increase adoption of these best practices. The expertise from Canadian farmers will inform and support net-zero research produced through the Common Ground Canada Network.

The Common Ground Canada Network is intended to promote collaboration and partnerships between academic institutions, research institutes, Indigenous communities, non-governmental organizations, industry and producers. The project will bring together academics from different disciplines across the country, partner organizations including the Arrell Food Institute, Food Secure Canada and the National Farmers Union, and civil society organizations such as the JustFOOD Action Plan Halifax, Food Communities Network, Food for All NB, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Humane Society International, and Farm to Cafeteria Canada.

Quotes

“Developing a sustainable and competitive economy while helping to achieve Canada’s climate goals requires partnerships like the one announced today between the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. This collaboration between researchers and the agricultural sector will accelerate the development of new practices that will help fight climate change and provide quality food for Canadians.”

—The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“The Common Ground Canada Network will connect our hard-working farmers with a network of researchers to develop and share best practices that will make the sector more resilient. I encourage researchers from across Canada to get involved in this initiative, so we can continue producing the high-quality, sustainable food that Canadians and folks around the world are looking for.”

– The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“Research on sustainable agriculture, particularly within the social sciences and humanities, is key to developing productive agricultural practice that can also help protect the environment. This is why we are pleased to partner with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada in funding world-leading experts across our country who will help drive the goal of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as agriculture expands to meet growing domestic and international demand.”

—Ted Hewitt, President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Quick facts

  • The new Common Ground Canada Network builds on the recent announcement of a partnership between the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, in collaboration with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
  • Budget 2022 provided the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council with $100 million in funding for sustainable agriculture research.
  • In the agricultural sector, Canada has committed to reducing emissions from fertilizer use by 30% below 2020 levels by 2030, and to support the Global Methane Pledge to reduce global methane emissions by 30% below 2020 levels by 2030.
  • The Government of Canada commits to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2030 and to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • Budget 2022 included a commitment for immediate action toward climate mitigation and to support the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Canada’s Next Steps for Clean Air and a Strong Economy to support farmers as partners in building a clean, prosperous future.

Contacts

Audrey Champoux
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
audrey.champoux@ised-isde.gc.ca

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
media@ised-isde.gc.ca

Media Relations
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
medias@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca

Francis Chechile
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
francis.chechile@agr.gc.ca

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972

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