Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) video transcript
Interviewee: Dr. Wayne Lees, Chief Veterinary Officer for the Province of Manitoba
TEXT: SMART IS... safer food through enhanced traceablity
MAFRI stands for Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives
A provincial agency that monitors sustainable farming and animal health practices
And is responsible for the food safety of over 1.2 million Manitobans
Dr. Wayne Lees: Catastrophic situations are always difficult to deal with and at the beginning of
these things I don't sleep well at night. There are a lot of conflicting information a lot of decisions
have to be made.
The Farm to Fork program is really looking at how do we track food from the production side all
the way through to the processor and then through distributors and finally to the consumer.
Prior to electronic traceability systems we had to do these things on paper and so we would have
filing cabinets full of pieces of paper. You would have different producer associations each with
their own database of information, there may have been duplications, there may have been errors
but there was no way to link that information.
We are overwhelmed with data but we need to turn that data into intelligence and knowledge
upon which we can base decisions. The key performance indicators for this project were: can we
get information quickly into a database, and then can we assemble that and sort it, and then
quickly get the information out that we require in an emergency situation.
We saw that very recently, there was a farmer who was noticing that his turkeys were not doing
too well. We were notified in a few days that that sample came back positive for H5 Avian
Influenza. We are able to very quickly identify the infected farm, to identify that there were no
other poultry farms in close proximity, that allowed us then to very quickly start to do our disease
Outbreaks of foreign animal disease can last anywhere 3 to 4 to 6 months. We were able in this
outbreak to really get things under control within three weeks, then you can get back into the
marketplace again very quickly.
We knew what the problem was. We knew how we wanted to solve it. IBM Global Business
Services was really important with identifying possible ways of solving that problem with their IT
I've seen the effects of outbreaks on people's lives and these are the kinds of things that don't get
captured in the statistics. It's their livelihood, it's their home, it's not just their job. And so if we
can, through these tools, reduce the impacts of an outbreak on those types of effects then we will
have done our job.
TEXT: The MAFRI solution is based on:
IBM Maximo Asset Manager
IBM Global Business Services - Industry Consulting
MAFRI got smarter by using predictive modeling to help understand how to best respond to
infectious livestock disease crises and to prevent future outbreaks.
- Instrumented: Each farm and animal are uniquely identified in MAFRI's premises ID system,
which will serve as the foundation for broader tracking systems that will monitor the movement
of tagged animals wherever they are transported.
- Interconnected: The tracking system enabled by MAFRI's premises ID system will enable seamless, transparent tracking of animals across all of Canada's provinces.
- Intelligent: The premises ID solution's 'what-if' capability enables MAFRI to model
different outbreak scenarios, helping them formulate optimal response strategies.