NWT greenhouse feasibility studies launched
June 21, 2016, Yellowknife – Aurora College will assess the feasibility of establishing commercial greenhouses in remote communities of the Northwest Territories.
The college has received $102,750 in research funding from the federal government to carry out the study.
MP Michael McLeod announced the funding on behalf of Minister Navdeep Bains, minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and minister responsible for CanNor.
“By investing in research to find innovative ways to bring affordable food costs to Northerners, the Government of Canada is helping to grow and diversify the local economy,” said Bains in a statement.
This research will focus on two communities, Norman Wells and Inuvik. At the completion of the project, user-friendly templates will have been created.
“By supporting the greenhouse feasibility studies,” said McLeod, “the government of Canada is contributing to the diversification of the Northern economy and providing small communities a range of job opportunities in horticulture, agriculture, and food processing and distribution.”
The long-term intent is to grow the local agriculture sector and diversify the economy in communities across the NWT. These templates will be shared with community partners, organizations and local governments to encourage the development of northern greenhouses throughout the territory.
A more robust NWT agriculture sector could also help address long-standing food security issues in the North by investing in innovative ways to reduce food costs and by providing local employment opportunities.
CanNor is investing $102,750 in this project. The government of Northwest Territories is contributing $50,000, with Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada an additional $25,000, and Aurora College $27,750.
This investment aims to support local economic diversification and could displace a portion of imported produce, valued at $17 million annually.
“Food insecurity and the high price of fresh produce are an issue in many of our communities,” said Jane Arychuk, president Aurora College.
“It is important to examine ways to increase access to and affordability of healthy foods in the North.”
For more information about CanNor, visit cannor.gc.ca.