Did you know that Canada’s agriculture and agri-food exports hit a record high of $82 billion in 2021, shattering the target of $75 billion by 2025? As Canada’s agriculture industry continues to play a crucial role in the country’s economy and food security, it is essential to uncover and understand the strategic direction and priorities outlined in Canada’s Agriculture and Agri-Food Departmental Plan for 2023-24.
Released by the Government of Canada earlier this year, this comprehensive departmental plan provides valuable insights into the initiatives, funding programs, and policies that will shape the future of Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector.
By unpacking the Departmental Plan for 2023-24, readers can gain a better understanding of the government’s vision and its efforts to support farmers, promote innovation, enhance sustainability, and ensure the well-being of Canadians.
For full details and information, read or download the PDF version of the extensive Departmental Plan for 2023-24 here.
Supporting Farmers and Enhancing Agriculture
One of the top key focuses of Canada’s Agriculture and Agri-Food Departmental Plan for 2023-24 is supporting farmers and enhancing agricultural productivity. The plan acknowledges the vast importance of Canadian farmers and their vital role in providing safe, high-quality food for domestic and international markets.
To enhance agricultural productivity in Canada, the government aims to support farmers through various means, including investing in research and development, providing assistance programs, and fostering innovation through a variety of government funding programs for agriculture such as the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (SCAP) which will invest $3.5 billion over the next five years.
The Departmental Plan for 2023-24 highlights the government’s core commitment to advancing agricultural research and development by outlining several initiatives to enhance collaboration with industry and academia, promote the adoption of cutting-edge technologies, and improve sustainable farming practices. By investing in research, the government aims to equip farmers with the knowledge and tools necessary to increase productivity, mitigate environmental impacts, and adapt to a changing climate.
Promoting Agricultural Innovation and Sustainability
In line with global trends and consumer demands, the Agriculture and Agri-Food Departmental Plan for 2023-24 places a strong emphasis on promoting innovation and sustainability in the agri-food sector. The plan recognizes the need to support Canadian producers in adopting innovative practices, technologies, and processes that can enhance efficiency, reduce environmental impacts, and help meet evolving customer preferences.
Programs such as the provincial streams provided through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (SCAP) offer agri-food businesses up to $3 million in funding support on projects that strengthen the competitiveness, innovation, and resilience of the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products industries.
By investing in funding programs such as SCAP that encourage businesses to adopt and adapt to more sustainable farming practices, such as precision agriculture and agroforestry, the Government of Canada has strong goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve soil health, and protect water resources.
As such, it is evident that the Departmental Plan outlines the government’s commitment to supporting the development and commercialization of clean technologies in the agri-food sector, fostering a transition towards a low-carbon and environmentally friendly industry.
A Resilient Food System for the Well-Being of Canadians
The seemingly never-ending COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the true importance of a resilient and secure food system. Canada’s Departmental Plan for 2023-24 addresses this by focusing on measures to ensure the well-being of Canadians and the stability of the agricultural sector. It highlights the government’s commitment to improving food safety, strengthening supply chain resilience, and supporting food processors and distributors.
“I’m confident that our departmental plans for 2023–24 will help to build a competitive, sustainable, and inclusive future for the entire sector — placing Canada as a leading powerhouse in food production.”
– Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
The plan recognizes the need to address vulnerabilities in the food system exposed by the pandemic. It outlines initiatives to enhance emergency preparedness, strengthen biosecurity measures, and improve the traceability of food products.
By taking these steps, the government aims to enhance Canada’s ability to respond to current and future crises to ensure a safe and reliable food supply for all Canadians.
A Roadmap Towards Stronger Canadian Agriculture
Overall, Canada’s Agriculture and Agri-Food Departmental Plan for 2023-24 provides a clear and bold roadmap for the government’s continued efforts to support farmers, promote innovation and sustainability, and ensure the well-being of Canadians. By investing in research and development, promoting innovation, and strengthening the food system, the government aims to position Canada’s agricultural industry for even larger success in an increasingly complex and interconnected world.
“Through concrete support, we will empower our sector to compete and meet global consumers’ growing demands for sustainable food, while strengthening food security – and meet our target of $95 billion in agri-food and seafood exports by 2028.”
– Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
It is essential for farmers, industry professionals, and all Canadians to be aware of the priorities outlined in the Departmental Plan, and to stay updated to which funding becomes available to support the advancement of agriculture and agri-food businesses.
By embracing innovation and adopting sustainable practices, Canada’s agricultural sector can continue to thrive, contribute to the nation’s economic prosperity and food security while working to protect the environment for future generations.
Download our free Canadian Agri-Business Growth Guide to learn about the best ways to manage, grow, and finance your Ontario agri-food business.