The Agtech Zone launches the AgXis Program to increase Quebec's availability of technologies applied to workforce issues in the horticultural sector

For immediate release

MRC de L'Assomption, July 9, 2024 - The Agtech Zone is proud to announce the launch of the AgXis Program, an innovative program designed to increase the availability, in Quebec, of innovative agricultural technologies that solve labor and operational efficiency challenges in Quebec's horticultural sector.

In recent years, the province's horticultural producers have had to deal with the critical issues of labor shortages and operational efficiency. Coupled with climate change, these issues are putting many of our farms at risk, impacting food self-sufficiency and, eventually, the sustainability of our horticultural sectors. It is in this context that the Agtech Zone, in collaboration with the Horticultural Innovation Expertise Network (made up of 5 horticultural associations and the Agtech Zone) and 5 key players in Quebec - Epsilia, Taste of the North, Univerco, Dubois Agrinovation and ProduceTech - has designed a technological adaptation and maturation program aimed at increasing the availability of priority innovative agricultural technologies for Quebec fruit and vegetable growers.

"We have an exceptional agtech ecosystem in Quebec, and we're proud to propel it forward every year. Faced with the challenges posed by last summer's bad weather and the persistent shortage of manpower, we decided this year to focus our efforts on increasing the availability of Quebec technologies adapted to the needs of our producers. By participating in the program, companies will benefit from intensive technological adaptation and maturation support, while working hand-in-hand with growers to refine their solutions. This collaboration is the key to accelerating technology adoption. We're delighted to launch this program in partnership with the community, and look forward to strong participation from agtech companies," says Marilou Cyr, General Manager of Zone Agtech. 

With the launch of this program, the Agtech Zone has set itself the ambitious challenge of increasing the local availability of 25 technologies that meet the priority needs of 5 Quebec horticultural sectors: strawberries and raspberries, apples, potatoes, greenhouses and vegetables. At the end of the program, each sector will benefit from 5 innovative technologies adapted to the priority needs identified by growers.


Presented by Taste of the North, the AgXis Strawberry and Raspberry Program aims to accelerate the adaptation and/or maturation of 5 technologies that reduce manual harvesting, fertilization and yield forecasting tasks. 


"The AgXis Strawberry and Raspberry Program is an exceptional opportunity to integrate innovations that will strengthen the competitiveness of our strawberry and raspberry growers in Quebec. Although Quebec is already a world leader in strawberry production, challenges such as labor shortages and operational efficiency are becoming increasingly present. Taste of the North is proud to support this initiative and to be a key partner in the industry." - Éric Fréchette, CEO of Taste of the North



Presented by ProduceTech, the AgXis Pommes Program aims to identify, accelerate and/or adapt 5 technologies that meet the priority challenges of Quebec apple growers. Companies proposing or wishing to adapt their solutions for thinning, harvesting, sorting, weeding and pruning in the apple sector are invited to submit their applications in Quebec.


"Since 2013, ProduceTech has established itself as a major player in the North American market. Always looking for the best technologies to support our customers, it was natural for us to introduce the AgXis Apple Program. Quebec's apple-growing sector is characterized by smaller orchards and faces specific climate-related challenges, resulting in a lack of adapted technologies. This collaboration will stimulate the availability of the technologies we're looking for, and therefore their adoption, which will improve the profitability and sustainability of our apple growers in Quebec." - Frédéric Lavoie, Producetech CEO



Presented by Epsilia, part of Groupe Noovelia, the AgXis Potato Program aims to accelerate the availability of priority technologies sought by Quebec potato growers: disease detection, pest management, weed control, washing optimization and operations traceability. 


"At Epsilia, innovation is our driving force, and our expertise in the agri-food sector, including potatoes, has made our reputation in Quebec's agricultural sector for over 20 years. We are delighted to support the AgXis Potato Program, which will propel our customers to new heights of competitiveness. This initiative is an exceptional opportunity for us to integrate new ideas and solutions into our offering. We remain committed to innovating to meet the challenges of the industry." - Pierre Ricard, Business Development and Customer Experience Director, Epsilia, Noovelia Group



Presented by Univerco, the AgXis Vegetable Production Program aims to accelerate the development and adaptation of solutions that will reduce labor requirements and increase operational efficiency, more specifically for harvesting, weeding, yield forecasting and sorting, packing and packaging tasks.


"Univerco has been providing vegetable growers with mechanization solutions since 1978, from seeding, to weeding, harvesting and washing vegetables. With labor issues on the rise and the potential of new technologies, we're proud to partner with the AgXis Vegetable Production Program. This is an essential initiative to support our growers by providing them with adapted technologies that will improve their productivity and sustainability." - Alain Bisaillon, President of Univerco



Presented by Dubois Agrinovation, the AgXis Serres program is designed to address the specific challenges facing Quebec greenhouses. In addition to accelerating the adaptation and maturation of 5 innovative technologies and solutions to meet the majority of needs, the program will increase the availability of technologies in Quebec for small, medium and large greenhouses. The priority issues that the program seeks to address are robotization or automation of picking, yield forecasting, disease detection and integration of different IT platforms and climate control systems.


"Greenhouses represent a key segment of horticulture in Quebec and for Dubois Agrinovation, which has been supporting the sector for 65 years. We're always looking to maximize our offering of solutions, products and technologies for all types of growers, large and small. That's why we're delighted to support the AgXis Greenhouse Program, which will increase the availability of Quebec solutions in our offering, to boost the performance and vitality of our home-grown growers." - Martin Charbonneau, Sales and Marketing Director, Dubois Agrinovation


To apply

Companies presenting technologies and solutions they believe can be adapted to growers' needs are invited to submit their applications from now until September 2 on the AgXis Program page of the Zone Agtech website.

More on the Program 

The AgXis Program is a technology adaptation and maturation program dedicated to transforming the future of agriculture in Quebec. This innovative program aims to identify, attract and adapt the most promising agricultural technologies to meet the labor and operational efficiency challenges facing Quebec producers.

As part of this innovative program, the Agtech Zone, in collaboration with partner associations and players, will identify 25 companies committed to developing Quebec's horticultural industry by accelerating the maturation and/or adaptation of their technology to the needs of local producers. 

Throughout their journey, the selected companies will benefit from co-development sessions with horticultural producers, scientific and technological advice from our partner research and technology transfer centers, strategic coaching for adapting their business model, if required, and sites for experimenting and demonstrating their technology. At the end of the tour, companies will be invited to a trade showcase co-organized with partner horticultural associations, and 4 companies will have the opportunity to take part in performance evaluations that will also lead to the design of information tools dedicated to growers. 

More about Zone Agtech 

The first of its kind in Canada, the Zone Agtech is an innovation ecosystem located on the territory of the Ville de Repentigny and the Ville de L'Assomption, dedicated to fostering innovations and companies developing innovative technologies and solutions that will form the basis of tomorrow's agriculture: an agriculture that will produce more nutritious food while using less land, water, chemicals and energy, and that will use agri-food residues as inputs for the production of value-added bioproducts.

Together, the members and partners of the Agtech Zone support, accelerate and participate in the creation of a more efficient agriculture that is resilient to change. Together, we have put in place innovation programming, events and activities to intensify the development and transfer of agricultural and agri-food innovations to markets here and abroad. 

The resulting ecosystem benefits all Quebec players - innovators, major companies, scientists, farmers, distributors, citizens and future generations - who will find the Zone Agtech an inclusive place that focuses Quebec's economic development on a clean industry that is relevant to the future.

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