GUELPH, ON [September 23, 2022] – The Ontario Government’s $2-million investment in the Fertilizer Accelerating Solutions & Technology Challenge is welcomed by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) as a made-in-Ontario solution to an international problem.
The funding is earmarked to support fertilizer options, alternatives and technology from Ontario sources, ensuring farmers have the tools and inputs they need to support healthy crops and ensure Ontario’s food security and food sovereignty.
“The OFA has identified made-in-Ontario solutions to increase the availability of domestic fertilizer options as the key success of Ontario’s food production and processing industry,” says Peggy Brekveld, President of the OFA. “Farming is a challenging profession with many factors such as weather that are beyond our control. Investing in domestic fertilizer solutions is a smart move that will help farmers minimize risk and maximize production.”
In 2021, Ontario farmers spent more than $1.2 billion on commercial fertilizers and lime, which was applied to more than 6.8 million acres of farmland. The cost of commercial fertilizers and lime increased in 2022 and is expected to stay high.
Ontario’s fertilizer challenge is being launched to address ongoing supply chain issues for fertilizer, while promoting innovation in the province’s agri-food sector. The challenge is a competitive opportunity for agri-businesses and organizations to focus on investing in projects, such as new solutions like biofertilizers, that can help reduce dependency on imported products.
This investment will encourage both immediate and long-term innovative solutions to help meet Ontario farmers’ fertilizer needs by accelerating the development of new and alternative products for the agri-food sector.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused many ripples around the world, and disruption in food production is a key one. Prior to the war, farmers in Ukraine and Russia produced about a quarter of the world’s calories, with key regions in North Africa and the Middle East dependent on their production. But this supply chain has been significantly jeopardized by the tragic geopolitical events unfolding in Ukraine. This is forecast to result in a spike in food prices between eight and 22 per cent over the coming months, and many agriculture economists are predicting famine in several African countries within the next 18 months.
“It was vitally important for Ontario to find strategies to manage the shortfall in fertilizer that is expected to materialize because of sanctions against Russia,” says Brekveld. “Everyone who eats relies on the spring planting to go as planned, and every Ontario farmer needs fertilizer to ensure that happens. Farmers face many risks in farming but the risk of supplies should not be one of them.”
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is the largest general farm organization in Ontario, representing 38,000 farm families across the province. As a dynamic farmer-led organization based in Guelph, the OFA works to represent and champion the interests of Ontario farmers through government relations, farm policy recommendations, research, lobby efforts, community representation, media relations and more. OFA is the leading advocate for Ontario’s farmers and is Ontario’s voice of the farmer. For more information, visit ofa.on.ca.
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Ontario Federation of Agriculture
519-821-8883 ext. 218