Yukon Research Centre offers cash prize for food security, agriculture ideas

The Yukon Research Centre's Cold Climate Innovation is looking for innovative projects that address food security issues and agriculture in the Yukon.

Innovators must explain the technical, economic viability of their idea and the benefits to Yukoners

Produce is shown on display at the Fireweed Market in Whitehorse last summer. (Leonard Linklater/CBC)

Do you have a great idea to improve food security in the Yukon? 

It could be worth $70,000. 

The Yukon Research Centre wants to give cash to the person who puts forward the best idea to address food security and agriculture issues in the territory. It's part of the centre's second annual Yukon Innovation Prize.

Stephen Mooney with Cold Climate Innovation at the Yukon Research Centre says climate change has created a huge interest in home-grown Yukon food production.

"Grow your own food, keep it local," he said. "Farmers are innovative — you got to be innovative when you are working a farm, fixing equipment and stuff, so we hope to see a lot of innovative ideas come out of this project."

Applicants will first compete for one of four prizes worth $10,000. That cash is to help further develop their idea. The four finalists will then compete for a grand prize of $60,000, to commercialize the idea.

The Research Centre says applicants must address the technical and economic viability of their idea and the benefits it can bring to Yukoners. 

Last year's Yukon Innovation Prize went to Adam Greetham, for his plan to develop an efficient radon mitigation system.

The contest closes March 20. 

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