Dalhousie Agriculture and Food Security

Dean David Gray smiles while standing by a railing of a bridge in front of trees
Dr. David Gray, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, at the campus in Truro. (Nick Pearce)


Where farm meets future

Agriculture in the 21st century faces multiple challenges.  The most pressing is that the world’s population is expected to grow by over a third – or 2.3 billion people – by 2050.

Feeding a world population of 9.1 billion people will require raising overall food production by close to 70 per cent while also focusing on reducing food waste and insecurity, increasing efficiency of production using innovative technologies and leveraging cutting-edge research. Poverty, food insecurity, both locally and globally, malnutrition and movement of populations from rural to urban centres will also feature prominently.

“Farming and producing food in the next century will look nothing like it has in the past,” says Dr. David Gray, Faculty of Agriculture Dean. “The use of data and technology will drive this change. It is essential that Atlantic Canadian farmers can access technology to ensure our region is competitive and sustainable in food production system development.”

By 2030, more fish, shellfish and aquatic plants will be produced through aquaculture than in the wild. Sustainable aquaculture depends on operators’ abilities to provide minimal essential nutrients and produce high-quality, nutritious seafood. But nutritious feed is one of the greatest costs involved in aquaculture.

As Canada Research Chair in Aquaculture Nutrition, Dr. Stefanie Colombo from the Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture is discovering innovative ways to improve nutrition in aquaculture and support the production of healthier, sustainably farmed seafood. She and her research team are exploring new nutrient sources and functional feeds, trying to understand fatty acid biosynthesis in fish, and determining the impact of climate change on feeds and fish metabolism. Their work will lead to innovations in nutrition that can improve the resiliency of aquaculture in the face of a changing and challenging aquatic environment.

Through world-class research and data-driven innovation, Dalhousie’s Faculty of Agriculture is committed to addressing the significant challenges to global and local sustainability, food security and health and well-being in a rapidly changing landscape within the sector. 

Two students in lab coats doing scientific work in a lab classroom with posters of fish
Students at work in Dalhousie’s Department of Animal Science and Aquaculture. (Nick Pearce)