The Transformative Seven: Technologies That Can Drive Canada's Next Green Revolution
Imagine a bumper crop of wheat grown entirely without chemical fertilizers. Or a swarm of drones that use artificial intelligence to identify every plant in a field, sniping only the weeds with a precision spray. Or a fresh slice of salmon sashimi that was grown in a bioreactor, not caught from the sea.
These are among the game-changing technologies enabling the Next Green Revolution in agriculture. Like innovations that came before them, they’re accelerating productivity to help feed a growing global population. But they’re also playing a critical new role: reducing agricultural emissions and enabling the absorption of emissions in soil.
The Transformative Seven, the latest in a series of reports from RBC Economics and Thought Leadership, BCG Centre for Canada’s Future and Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph, identifies seven key innovations or “ag-techs” that can both meaningfully reduce emissions and present opportunities for Canada to lead. Together, they could help cut potential 2050 emissions from Canada’s agriculture sector by up to 40%.
• Precision technologies
• Carbon capture, utilization, and storage systems
• Anaerobic digesters
• Controlled environment farming
• Livestock feed additives
• Agriculture biotechnology
• Cellular agriculture
To maximize the potential of these technologies, Canada needs to boost private investment as well as adoption. That means building the right platforms for collaboration among not just farmers and entrepreneurs, but investors, corporates and governments. It means creating innovative new financial and tax incentives and sharing the risk borne by farmers as they take on new emissions-cutting technologies.
Agricultural technology is the key to a low carbon, sustainable food system of the future. And this is Canada’s opportunity to unlock it.