The past and present projects conducted by Agri-Arctic are applying each of the following solutions to make different types of agriculture a reality in Canada’s north and beyond:
- Energy Efficient Structures: Food is energy and energy is food. In any agricultural operation in any harsh environment whether it be the Canadian Arctic, Antarctica or Mars, will need to carefully account for the use of energy and the production of heat. This will require the use of innovative, highly efficient structures such as domes to reduce the need for electricity to keep the operation heated and to ensure that as much energy as possible is converted into nutritious food.
- Space Optimization and Water Efficiency: The amount of space that’s used for an agricultural operation is the largest determinant for how much energy that it will take to maintain it. This will also have implications for how much water will be required and how much will be wasted. Systems such as vertical hydroponics must be used to ensure that the use of floor space optimized and that as little water as possible is wasted.
- Agro-Ecology & Integrated Production: Different types of agricultural production require different inputs and produce different outputs. All operations should integrate different production systems such that the output of one system becomes the input for the other. The net synergistic effect is to reduce the need to resupply an agricultural operation with expensive feed and nutrients.
- Grower Analytics: Data itself is a resource and needs to be optimized as much as any physical input. Monitoring and control systems need to be in place such that they simplify operations and reduce the need for labour and allow the grower to make effective decisions.
- Ecologically and Culturally Appropriate: Where possible, use what’s available in the local environment to promote agricultural production and use it in a way that makes sense. If a community has access to rich soils, they should be encouraged to engage in organic agriculture and technology should be used to aid that, not replace it. Where possible, technology must be integrated into the existing cultures such that it compliments them and does not reduce the richness of traditional knowledge.