There are large farms and small farms. As we were saying, there are many small farms. Information technologies are significantly less accessible to small producers and small farms than to larger companies. In terms of risk management, the means are in place. For example, to manage pests, scouts go out and survey the fields. Technology can help with that. We can also use drones in the fields. However, companies must be of a certain minimum size, first, to be able to afford the technological equipment and, second, to have trained personnel who can use it.
In terms of our dependence on labour, technology can replace repetitive work done by an employee on the farm. If we want to be less dependent on labour, we can automate repetitive tasks, such as weeding, irrigation or harvesting. Research will be needed to see what methods are available and adapt them to the growing conditions of different products.
There are 120 different fruit and vegetable products in Canada. The machines are not designed for all products. Our crops are very diverse, compared to monocultures. This is a challenge, and in the coming years, we will need to make investments and set up research programs in automation so that we are less dependent on labour and more up to date in terms of risk management.