Agricultural Innovation to Help Feed the North

News Release

CanNor investment supports development aquaponics farm in the Yukon

May 9, 2017 – Whitehorse, YT – Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)

In the North, where the growing season is brief and many northern communities rely on food flown in by plane or trucked up via ice road, traditional farming has its challenges.

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for CanNor, announced an investment of $75,000 to support an innovative approach to northern agriculture to help feed the North.

North Star Agriculture Inc., a subsidiary of Gray Dragon Investment Corporation, is developing the first indoor, vertical aquaponics farm in the Yukon.  Aquaponics is an innovative method of farming that raises fish and vegetables simultaneously.  In a mutually beneficial relationship, nutrients from fish waste feed growing vegetables, while the plants filter the water that keeps fish healthy.  The first of its kind north of 60, the vertical farm will have a capacity equivalent to three hectares of land, and the ability to produce 200 tonnes of fish and over 200,000 kg of produce annually. Development of a northern aquaponics farm will create local employment while decreasing reliance on food transported from southern regions.

Quotes

“Our Government supports innovative approaches designed to address challenges facing Canadians. Local production is one way to keep costs down.  This project has great potential to make a real difference in providing Northerners with access to fresh, local produce, while creating jobs and diversifying the Yukon economy.”

Navdeep Bains
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and
Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

“We are committed to “Feeding the North” through innovation, technology, and strong partnerships. Our goal to revolutionize the quality, quantity, and availability of fresh vegetables to our local market is set to succeed. We look forward to serving our community and joining the ranks of agricultural pioneers helping to create a more self-sufficient Yukon.”

Sonny Gray
CEO, North Star Agriculture Inc.

Quick Facts

  • Gray Dragon Investments (GDI) is a Yukon investment corporation and majority shareholder in a portfolio of mid-sized service related businesses, including North Star Agriculture Inc. In 2015, GDI shifted its mandate to focus on agriculture development and alternative energy.

  • CanNor and Gray Dragon Investment Corporation each contributed $75,000 to the project. CanNor’s investment supported a feasibility study, a market analysis, and a business plan for the aquaponics farm.

  • CanNor’s Strategic Investments in Northern Economic Development (SINED) economic development program aims to strengthen key economic sectors in Canada’s territories. SINED supports projects that increase northern economic growth and diversification, support innovation and capacity development, and create jobs for Northerners.

Contacts

Office of the Honourable Navdeep Bains
Karl W. Sasseville
Press Secretary
343-291-2500

Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
Krisandra Reid
Communications Advisor, Yukon Region
867-667-3210

North Star Agriculture Inc.
Sonny Gary
CEO
867-333-0005

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