Government of Canada launches Canada’s first Living Lab in Prince Edward Island: homegrown collaborative solutions to local environmental farming issues

News release

August 15, 2019 – Bedeque, Prince Edward Island – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Today, the Honourable Wayne Easter, Member of Parliament for Malpeque, announced Living Lab-Atlantic, Canada’s first agricultural Living Lab designed to benefit farmers and Islanders by enhancing soil health, water quality and crop productivity on Prince Edward Island (PEI). 

As part of the $10 million investment in the Living Laboratories Initiative, up to $2.4 million will be granted to the East Prince Agri-Environment Association. 

The Association will lead on-farm research activities in collaboration with over a dozen partners and local producers, including more than 20 science teams from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

The research will focus on developing and evaluating various beneficial management practices to address environmental issues in the province, such as water management, fertilizer use, conservation of soil organic matter, and nutrient losses due to soil erosion. 

The Living Laboratories Initiative is a new collaborative approach to agricultural innovation that brings farmers, scientists and other stakeholders together to co-develop, test and monitor new practices and technologies in a real-life context. The ultimate benefit will be more practical technologies and sustainable farming practices adopted more quickly by Canadian farmers.

Quotes

"This significant investment and new, innovative, collaborative research approach will put PEI farmers at the core of developing and testing best management practices. With tailored tools, they will have the power to drive productivity in a sustainable fashion in the fields across this beautiful province."

- The Honourable Wayne Easter, Member of Parliament for Malpeque

"The East Prince Agri-Environment Association is pleased to be leading this exciting initiative in Atlantic Canada. This funding from AAFC will enable farmers to work directly with researchers, academia, government represents, watershed groups and other environmental organizations such as Ducks Unlimited to carry out important trials that will help build and support a more sustainable ecosystem for growing crops and protecting our environment. Our organization is dedicated to building a more environmentally sustainable agriculture industry through evidence-based management practices."

- Andrea McKenna, East Prince Agri-Environment Association Inc.

Quick facts

  • PEI is the first site in Canada to have a Living Lab, part of a nation-wide network led by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Additional sites will be announced in four regions across Canada: the Eastern Prairies, Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia.

  • This initiative is part of a $70 million investment outlined in Budget 2017 to further support agricultural discovery science and innovation, with a focus on climate change and soil and water conservation.

  • The East Prince Agri-Environment Association (EPAA) is a not-for-profit organization that represents 13 Prince Edward Island farms who are working together to improve and create sustainable agricultural practices.

  • A Canadian-led Agroecosystem Living Labs approach – a novel way to accelerate the development of sustainable agricultural practices and technologies around the world – was endorsed by the G20 Ministers of Agriculture in 2018 and 2019.

Associated links

Contacts

Justine Lesage
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food 
justine.lesage@canada.ca 
613-404-1168 (Cell)

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972 
aafc.mediarelations-relationsmedias.aac@canada.ca
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