Delta North MLA Ravi Kahlon. (Photo submitted)

Delta North MLA Ravi Kahlon. (Photo submitted)

COLUMN: Delta well positioned to be a leader in agri-tech

Farmland, industrial sector, port and growing tech landscape means Delta could be an industry leader

By Ravi Kahlon, guest columnist

I come from a long line of farmers. Before immigrating to Canada, my entire family was involved in farming, growing wheat, sugarcane and vegetables. At the age of two I moved to India for a few years and I have clear memories of fields full of crops being plowed methodically by two bulls, with a single farm worker trailing behind them.

You won’t see scenes like those of my childhood on our farms here in Delta, or anywhere else across Canada for that matter. Agriculture is changing rapidly, and the realities of climate change and a growing population mean the years to come will be a time of great challenge in the systems that feed us every day.

But amid these great challenges there are also great opportunities, especially here in Delta. Innovation and technology are already transforming our agriculture industries to help us rise to the challenges we are faced with. With some of the best farmland in the province, a strong industrial sector, access to ports and a growing tech landscape, Delta is uniquely positioned to become a leader in the agricultural technology (agri-tech) that will shape our global food systems in the coming decades.

In 2019, Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham asked a group of experts the question: “how can British Columbia lead the next agricultural revolution?” The response, published in the January 2020 report The Future of B.C.’s Food System, included the assertion that with the right groundwork, investments and technology, British Columbia can and will be a world leader in agriculture. Delta is well positioned to be a leader in B.C. and is already playing a key role in developing the agri-tech that will allow the province to be an agricultural tech world leader. One only needs to look around our region to see this work is already well underway.

With headquarters in Delta, EnWave Corporation developed its rapid low-temperature drying method that maintains a product’s colour, flavour and nutrients during dehydration. EnWave’s technology is known for its use in developing popular products like Moon Cheese, a dehydrated cheese sold as a non-perishable snack.

Another organization, Terramera, continues to grow technology that leads to higher-performing organic biopesticides and decreases the need for synthetic chemicals in farming. For those who use the product, this means lower costs, improved productivity and a minimized environmental impact. Terramera also has a goal of reducing synthetic chemicals used in agriculture by 80 per cent, and recently received $45 million USD in financing to help them achieve this goal.

Helping farmers, addressing climate change and increasing food production are top priorities for our government, and Delta can continue to build on the momentum we have created to drive the success of the agriculture sector in our province. This vision will require us to continue to cultivate strong partnerships between the agricultural sector, the private sector and all levels of government. Leading in agri-tech can help us adapt to our changing climate, enhance new economic opportunities for Delta, and leverage the great strength that lies in our agricultural land reserve.

With these tools in our toolbox, we can move Delta and all of B.C. toward the forefront of the agricultural revolution. And in doing so, we’ll bring good jobs and new investments to Delta while stepping up to feed our changing world.

Ravi Kahlon is MLA for Delta North and Parliamentary Secretary for Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.



editor@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

AgricultureDeltaTechnology

Just Posted

A new DPD team began targeting gang-related activity on May 15, including checking on individuals who must abide by curfews and conditions. (Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police taking action to address gang conflict

Three-pronged strategy focused on interdiction, investigation and prevention

(Delta Police Department photo)
Property crime in Delta down, collisions up in first quarter of 2021

Police note little change in violent crime stats compared to Q1 in 2020 — 174 incidents versus 177

The City of Surrey partnered with the Work Zone Safety Alliance last year to remind drivers to slow down in construction zones. (File photo)
White Rock, Surrey motorists asked to slow down in ‘cone zones’

Provincewide campaign encouraging residents to be mindful of construction workers

Semiahmoo First Nation archeology manager Don Welsh (left) sifts through shell midden at a Crescent Beach site in August 2019. (File photo)
Semiahmoo First Nation to repatriate 200 ancestors

B.C. grant funding return of remains from Simon Fraser University

Fraser Valley Heritage Rail Society volunteers stand on the train platform in Cloverdale in 2020. A new exhibit about FVHRS and Surrey’s train history opens at the Museum of Surrey June 2. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
New exhibition on Surrey’s train history to open at Museum of Surrey

Separate two-day event welcomes kids June 25-26

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

(Vancouver Police Department)
Vancouver police expect violence to escalate, ID 6 gangsters who pose ‘public safety risk’

VPD asking public to stay away from these six people, who they say may be targeted in shootings

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Most Read