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Clean tech investment aimed at boosting crop yields

January 23, 2018  

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Available agricultural land is shrinking every day, and producers are looking to technology to help them make better use of dwindling resources.

Investments in innovative sensors and web-based platforms announced today by Ottawa for better irrigation and crop management could help yield more crops while reducing the amount of pesticide used.

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced a federal investment of $5.9 million, through Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), to advance technologies being developed by Hortau, a firm with innovative clean tech ventures.

“Our country is built on innovative solutions for crop and irrigation management,” said Duclos. “From our modest beginnings of clearing forest to plant crops to developing technologies like the ones we are supporting today at Hortau, Canadians are at the forefront of making better use of resources and creating more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions.”

This investment in Hortau supports a precision agriculture platform — composed of hardware, software and communication systems — that can provide a more complete approach to managing crops and irrigation. This includes monitoring five elements that can influence crop development: water, nutrients, pests, temperature and salinity. With this technology, Hortau is targeting high-value irrigated crops in Canada and the United States, representing a market of about 9.5 million acres. Hortau made the prestigious 2017 Global Cleantech 100 top companies to watch list as an up-and-coming company that is catching the attention of leading investors and corporations in the market.

Investments in clean technology are part of the Government’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it. Investments in clean technology also support the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.