Dealing with the high cost of food in northern Canada is a constant challenge for producers and consumers. Through innovation and new thinking, Choice North Farms in Hay River, Northwest Territories, is hoping to make a difference by undertaking the PoultryPonics Dome Project, with the support of more than $80,000 in funding from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor).
Choice North Farms is a private egg production company in Hay River, located on the Great Slave Lake in northern Canada. Its pilot project will integrate vertical hydroponic units and poultry production in a small geodesic dome. This combination will reduce the amount of nutrients and energy required for egg production while providing a good supply of quality, local, fresh produce and protein, CanNor said.
"The government of Canada has long supported the development of the agriculture sector in the north. We are pleased to support innovative technologies that not only grow the economy of Hay River but also have the potential to provide affordable food to northern communities," said Michael McLeod, member of Canada's Parliament from the Northwest Territories.
If the pilot project is successful, the innovative clean technology could be scaled up and adapted in other northern communities, thus promoting economic diversification, reducing the cost of living and enhancing the quality of life in remote communities, the agency said.
"We are thrilled at Choice North Farms to be able to pilot this green technology, thanks to the support of CanNor. We are confident it will allow us to produce more food locally while reducing our carbon footprint and production cost. This is great for our business, for the agricultural sector in the (Northwest Territories) and for northern consumers," Choice North Farms business development manager Kevin Wallington said.
CanNor has invested $80,497 in the project through its Strategic Investments in Northern Economic Development program, with Choice North Farms contributing $67,910, the government of the Northwest Territories injecting $6,586 and the Aurora Research Institute providing an additional $6,000. Total funding for the project stands at $160,993.