UFV applauds launch of #BCTECH Strategy and continues development of Agri-tech sector

blog - Agriculture Centre of Excellence - Garry Fehr

Garry Fehr stands outside UFV’s Agriculture Centre of Excellence.

The University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) welcomes the government of British Columba’s recent announcement of the #BCTECH Strategy and the strategy’s greater emphasis on post-secondary learning in technology sectors.

“UFV is very pleased to see the government’s continued effort and foresight in strengthening British Columbia’s diverse knowledge-based economy, including a vibrant technology sector,” said Dr. Eric Davis, Provost and Vice-President Academic at UFV. “We applaud their focus on developing the talents and abilities of our students and supporting their pursuit of knowledge and career paths in technological fields.”

One such sector is Agri-tech, where technology is used to improve yield, efficiency, and profitability of food production. As the global population marches towards 9 billion in 2050 and as arable land area shrinks, Agri-tech is emerging as a vital way of maintaining sustainable food production and thwarting food shortages.

“Agri-tech is an exciting area that is increasingly in demand,” said Garry Fehr, Director of the Agriculture Centre of Excellence (ACE) at UFV. “UFV is working on many projects that use technology to solve problems for the agricultural industry and boost food production, while giving students the skills they need to succeed in this critical area.”

ACE at UFV is working with researchers, students, government, and industry to expand the sustainable production of safe and nutritious food through the development of cutting-edge applied research and technology in several projects:

  • ACE is partnering with industry to use pressurized greenhouses in Chilliwack (and under construction in Surrey) to test vertical growing systems which could boost the growing capacity of a given patch of greenhouse real estate by up to 1600%
  • The UFV Mechatronics program is teaming up with the beekeeping industry to research and develop robotic systems that will make honey production more efficient
  • Applied research at UFV will use airborne drones to collect and analyze data for evaluating arable land, monitoring crop growth, and optimizing food production
  • Future research at UFV will look at using computerized sensors to micro-manage interior climate, maximize lighting conditions, and test the optimum qualities of various greenhouse covers for food production
  • ACE is also completing discussions with industry to use greenhouses to test advancements in pest management methods which will reduce the risk of infestation, reduce producer costs, and increase worker safety

In all cases, students are engaged in research and develop knowledge and work-place skills through hands-on learning while contributing to the growth of the Agri-tech sector.

For more information on these and other UFV technology programs please contact Dave Pinton, Director of Communications at 604.702.2606 or dave.pinton@ufv.ca

blog - Agriculture Centre of Excellence - Garry Fehr

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