SOURCE: Enterprise Machine Intelligence and Learning Initiative

February 06, 2017 18:33 ET

Machine learning in the agriculture sector will drive economic prosperity

WINNIPEG, MB--(Marketwired - February 06, 2017) - The Enterprise Machine Intelligence and Learning Initiative (EMILI) welcomes today's release of the federal Advisory Council on Economic Growth's (ACEG) second wave of recommendations, including its identification of the Canadian agriculture and food sector as a key economic priority.

"We congratulate the Economic Council's for recognizing Canada's food and agriculture sector as a substantial growth and export opportunity," said Ray Bouchard, CEO of Enns Brothers and the Chair of Manitoba-based EMILI. "EMILI welcomes the federal government's assistance to make Canada's agriculture and food sector a world leader in safe, nutritious and sustainable food for the 21st century."

In the report The Pathway to Prosperity, the Economic Council identified a number of different sectors that have the potential for significant growth and job creation in Canada, including agriculture, advanced manufacturing and life sciences. The report recommends that the government and private sector work together to conduct a detailed review of each sector, assessing its strengths, barriers to growth and policy initiatives to overcome the barriers. To kick off the work, the Economic Council recommends the food and agriculture sector as the first to undergo the detailed sectoral analysis.

According to Mr. Bouchard, one key opportunity for the Canadian agri-food sector is the use of machine learning and the greater use of technology into agricultural operations. In particular, EMILI is focused on working with both machine learning companies and established agri-businesses to solve key innovation challenges and elevate Canada's position in the agriculture sector globally.

EMILI also applauds and supports the report's recommendation for more growth-capital financing to small- and medium-sized companies looking for funds to expand. Historically, Canada has experienced a "market failure" for accessing risk capital for commercialization projects that drive innovation and growth. EMILI has long advocated for government support to bridge the funding gap.

"The agri-food sector is a source of great opportunity for Canada," said Mr. Bouchard. "EMILI congratulates the government and the Economic Council for recognizing this fact and we look forward to working with the federal government to advance its innovation agenda and to ensure the participation of agri-businesses in innovation commercialization projects and programs."

Contact Information

  • Contact /Media Relations
    Ray Bouchard, Chair
    Via Dr. Jo Kennelly
    416 671 645