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GOC invests in organic waste conversion in B.C.

January 31, 2023  By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

On Jan. 26, Francis Drouin, parliamentary secretary to the minister of agriculture and agri-food, announced an investment of nearly $832,000 for Safi Enterprises Inc. under the Research and Innovation Stream of the Agricultural Clean Technology (ACT) Program.

The funding will support research and development of a new generation of small, portable and low-cost conversion systems for organic waste, known as biomass, that can serve rural and rural Indigenous communities in British Columbia.

“Safi Enterprises and its partners are working to provide rural communities in B.C. with the tools to turn waste into cash,” Drouin said in a statement. “This research supports economic growth and development of the agricultural sector, while aiming to reduce fertilizer and greenhouse gas emissions.”

Safi Enterprises, in partnership with the University of British Columbia, is exploring the feasibility of producing carbon-based fertilizer blends from crop residues that can be used on farms. Communities can convert the residues into fertilizer blends and other carbon-based products, which can provide additional income. The systems also prevent residues from being burned in open air, reducing pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and the risk of wildfires.

While conversion technologies focus mainly on large agricultural processing plants, Safi Enterprises aims to help rural farmers reduce waste across the supply chain while adopting more sustainable on-farm practices, such as reducing chemical fertilizer use. To date, Safi Enterprises has engaged local First Nations communities, including Líl̓wat, Esk’etemc, and Ulkatcho, to host the portable conversion systems on-site.

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