To cultivate the agricultural advantages the Regina area possess in the ag business, Economic Development Regina launched it’s Ag and Food Innovation Strategy.
The strategy is being developed to start, grow, and attract companies in agribusiness. The strategy identifies the measurable objectives within one, five and ten years.
Among the stakeholders who were represented at the launch were Viterra President and CEO Kyle Jeworski , Elan Ange from O&T Farms, Thomas Benjoe from FHQ Developments, and Marco Coppola of Raven Industries.
Jeworski says the strategy is important because agriculture is the backbone of our community. “Our communities in Regina and Saskatchewan were built on agriculture. If you look at the employment that agriculture creates today and the employment in the future it’s very important that we develop a strategy like this and have all stakeholders involved to ensure success.”
Over the past year there have been several announcements that have sparked excitement for success in the agricultural industry in the Regina area. These announcements include the canola crushing facilities developed by Viterra and Cargill, Raven Industries establishing their Canadian headquarters in the area, Red Leaf Pulp plans to build a non wood fibre pulp mill and Brandt Industries plans to increase it’s workforce by 30% along with the acquisition of Cervus Equipment.
Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit says it’s important for the the stakeholders of the strategy to work together to ensure that Regina is able to attract the workers needed to make it a success. “You need the city onside, you need an economic development to help work through that process to have that attraction to bring people to the city, to the region to really want to work and live and raise their families here.”
The provincial Ag Minister noted that strategy developed by Economic Development Regina compliments very with the provincial government’s vision of a thriving agricultural industry in Saskatchewan.
One of the roles that the City of Regina will play to ensure the success of the strategy is provide the infrastructure needed for the ag industry to thrive for the businesses and it’s workers according to Mayor Sandra Masters. “We need water, we need waste water, roads to carry trucks to get access to rail, all of those types of things start to weigh upon it and if we grow our population we have to grow neighbourhoods.”
Among the goals the strategy is hoping to attain in 2030 is to triple the growth within the Agtech sector in Regina, to increase Regina’s population to 300,000, to build over 1 billion dollars in infrastructure and to grow the area’s agri-food exports to 1 billon dollars.