APRU Promotes New Food Security Program at the Canada in Asia Conference 2024-Agri-food
March 2, 2024

The Canada-in-Asia Agri-food conference was held in Singapore on February 26-27 which provided a timely opportunity for APRU to highlight its new APRU Food Security Program.  Featuring program leader, Prof. Woo Soo Kim of Simon Fraser University’s School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering; Prof. Zeng-Yei Hseu of National Taiwan University’s Department of Agricultural Chemistry, Prof Rickey Yada, Dean, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, as panelists discussed Agri-tech Policy providing a comparative analysis of Canadian and Asian Approaches as well as discussing global food production.

CIAC2024 Agri-food convened leaders from the private sector, governments, universities, and other institutions from across Asia and Canada in agri-food and related sectors for networking and inter-disciplinary discussion on some of the most pressing issues in the Canada-Asia agri-food space. Hosted by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and Universities Canada, APRU supported the conversation between government, higher education and business to facilitate the exchange in the agri-food technology ecosystem.

Catalyzing the development and deployment of next-generation agri-technologies requires supportive ecosystems with truly collaborative partners. “The triple helix model of collaboration among post-secondary institutions, government, and companies is the crucial driver of innovation in agritech and its adoption for enhancing food security. The agritech innovation ecosystem thrives on the knowledge sharing, application and investment, crucial for the growth and prosperity of agrifood across the region,” Said Dr. Woo Soo Kim, Scientific Director, B.C. Centre for Agritech Innovation, and Professor, School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering, Simon Fraser University.

Global food production must expand to meet growing demand. Exploring new technologies and innovative methods being deployed in Asia can support methods to increase food production worldwide.

“Soil is integral to a one health strategy where human and environmental health are interdependent. The planet’s sustainability depends on soil health because many issues dealing with animal and plant, environmental, or human health are always linked to soil functions. We cannot use a one-sized fits all approach to enrich soil health in localities all across the Asia Pacific region. Governments and researchers must work together to support small farmers to gain the knowledge and technology to sustain soil for the agri-food economy at scale,” said Dr. Zeng-Yei HSEU, Distinguished professor, Department of Agricultural Chemistry, National Taiwan University. 

APRU member, The University of British Columbia (UBC) was also a proud university partner of the Canada-in-Asia Conferences 2024, and for the second consecutive year, attended the conference with a delegation of researchers and experts to engage in key cross-sectoral dialogue and foster new connections. UBC is committed to deepening engagement in the region and to fostering partnerships in areas of shared interest, including agri-food and climate, in support of Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy.

The APRU Food Security Working Group was formed in 2023 with inaugural representatives from Canada, the United States, Singapore, Taiwan, and Australia. As the first initiative conceived and developed by the APRU Food Security Working Group, the APRU Food Security Webinar Series 2024 is delving deeply into regional technological advancements in the realms of precision agriculture and food shelf life extension in the Asia-Pacific.

The APRU Food Security Working Group met on the sidelines of the Canada in Asia Conference to discuss the future development of the working group and new opportunities.

L-R: Christina Schönleber, APRU; Professor Thorsten Wohland, National University of Singapore; Professor Thomas Schneider, APRU; Professor Annie Lochoff, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; Professor HSEU Zeng-Yei, National Taiwan University; and Professor Woo Soo Kim, Simon Fraser University