Canadian Government Invests over USD50m in Agricultural Sector
Canadian Minister of Agriculture has recently announced that it is planning to invest over USD50m in the agricultural sector in the next 5 years.
Canada’s agriculture and agri-food system contributes over USD114bn to the gross domestic product, and provides food, while creating jobs for the middle class, the government officials explain the decision.
Potatoes represent an important crop for Canada, as they are grown in every province of the country. According to the Canadian Horticultural Council, Canada produces over 4.7 million tons of potatoes annually.
The sector is working hard to find innovative approaches to respond to growing domestic and global demand while addressing emerging challenges and maintaining its environmental sustainability, according to the Minister of Agriculture.
While celebrating Canada’s Agriculture Day with farmers, ranchers, food processors, industry leaders and youth in Ottawa, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay announced the new Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program (CASPP), which involves an investment of USD50.3m over five years. Funding available through this program will help facilitate the sector’s ability to address emerging issues and capitalize on opportunities.
The CASPP focuses on four priority areas: adoption of new technology; environmental sustainability; strategic development and capacity building; and, emerging issues. Examples of potential projects could include those addressing artificial intelligence technology, tools to assess future labor and skills needs, bio-crops, environmentally sustainable farming techniques and strategies to help the sector adapt to changes in consumer preferences.
The program also builds on other Government of Canada initiatives to support competitiveness and sustainability in the agricultural sector. These include the USD3bn, five-year Canadian Agricultural Partnership, USD70m announced in budget 2018 to support agricultural discoveries in science and innovation to address climate change and soil and water conservation, the USD25m Agricultural Clean Technologies Program, and the Strategic Innovation Fund.
“Canada’s agricultural sector is strong and growing. Our farmers know that to stay competitive and on the cutting edge we need to continue to adapt and develop new and innovative approaches to agriculture. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the sector find new ways to respond to new and emerging issues, and seize new market opportunities,” Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food said.