Manitoba gets new living lab
November 15, 2023 By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
On Nov. 15, Lawrence MacAulay, federal minister of agriculture and agri-food, announced the creation of a new living lab in Manitoba. Led by the Manitoba Association of Watersheds, this living lab project represents an investment of up to $9.2 million over five years under the Agricultural Climate Solutions (ACS) – Living Labs program.
“Farmers are natural innovators and by partnering with researchers, they can help develop new solutions to build resilience to the challenges of climate change,” said MacAulay. “Manitoba’s rich farming history has laid the groundwork for this exciting new project and it will drive innovation through collaboration between farmers, Indigenous communities, scientists and other sector partners.”
This living lab aims to accelerate the sector’s response to climate change by bringing together producers, scientists and other sector partners, to co-develop, test and evaluate on-farm beneficial management practices (BMPs) on multiple sites across the province. These BMPs, which support nutrient management, water retention, crop and livestock integration, soil health and more, will help store carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while providing environmental co-benefits.
In collaboration with partner organizations within the living lab, the Manitoba Association of Watersheds will also encourage knowledge transfer and exchange between local producers, federal and provincial researchers, Indigenous communities, and other partners.
“Collaboration with farmers and researchers, through their local watershed districts, brings tremendous value to Manitoba farmers,” said Garry Wasylowski, Manitoba Association of Watersheds board chair. “Practices developed on-farm, and shared within communities, is a remarkably effective way to increase adoption of beneficial management practices.”
This new project adds to the four living labs launched earlier this year and the nine living labs announced in 2022. With a total of 14 living labs under the ACS – Living Labs program, there is now at least one living lab in every province.
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