Agriculture is A critical financial driver in Ontario’s Greenbelt, but Decrease than 5 per cent of The world’s 66 municipalities have reached out to evaluation institutions for information or suggestion, says a current Greenbelt Basis report.
Brock College’s Niagara Group Observatory (NCO) is aiming to bridge that hole regionally by way of a enterprise referred to as Enhancing Municipal Performance To promote and Assist Agriculture Inside the Niagara Area.
“This enterprise Assists municipalities construct capacity to support and promote a aggressive sustainable agriculture sector Inside the region by sharing information, assets and devices To help them make proof-based mostly selections,” says NCO Research Fellow Amy Lemay, Who’s heading up the enterprise’s group.
With funding from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Meals and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), the NCO evaluation group is Establishing the Niagara Agriculture Municipal Researching Community, which amongst completely different issues will current a collection of briefing notes and informationgraphics to municipal staff and elected officers on particular agricultural factors.
Additionally embraced Shall be summaries of Brock College’s agricultural research. These embrace evaluation by Professor of Biology Liette Vasseur on how cowl crops shield soils in the direction of local climate change outcomes and evaluation on extreme-extreme quality, virus-free plant supplies carried out by Sudarsana Poojari, Senior Staff Scientist at Brock College’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI).
NCO plans to launch the network at a digital meeting to be held Thursday, June 9.
The group has already reached out to regional and municipal councillors, mayors, chief administrative officers and financial enchancment officers in all of Niagara’s municipalities To ask them to joInside the network. However, participation is open to all regional and municipal staff.
The group May even be consulting with stakeholders Inside the Niagara agriculture enterprise to decide key factors that the network will tackle, says Lemay.
In August and September, the enterprise group Shall be conducting farm excursions “the place municipal staff and elected officers Might have The prospect To work together with native farmers, Research rising, evolving alternatives and challenges dealing with the agriculture enterprise And the method municipal insurance coverage policies, planning and program selections influence the enterprise,” she says.
Lemay says inspiration for the enterprise acquired here from the 2021 Greenbelt Basis report, which states that “a thriving agriculture enterprise Relies upon upon the information and support currentd by municipal governments.”
The report outlines agricultural challenges Inside the Greenbelt’s municipalities. In Niagara, municipalities had Decrease than one full-time staff devoted to agriculture factors, Based on the report.
Lemay cites knowledge from Statistics Canada saying that in 2016, There have been 1,800 farms Inside the Niagara region, which was about 4 per cent of The complete Quantity of farms Inside the province, producing simply over $800 million in farm receipts, which is 5.5 per cent of complete provincial farm receipts.
She notes the region’s social and cultural id Is shaped largely by the agriculture sector, particularly Inside the grape and wine enterprise, producing further financial advantages.
“There are some actually thrilling issues That are going to happen in agriculture that make it A primary sector for financial enchancment and progress,” Lemay says. “Through this enterprise, We now Want to help municipalities construct capacity To answer factors and alternatives round planning and programming.”
All regional and municipal staff and elected officers are welcome to joInside the Niagara Agriculture Municipal Researching Community. Please contact Knowledge Supplier Bunmi Okuwa at [email protected] for extra information.