Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector benefits from an abundant supply of natural resources including diverse plant, animal and marine life. From farm to store shelf, food producers and manufacturers operating in Canada enjoy low business costs, accessible export markets, and advancements in Canadian agri-tech.
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Top commodities by region in Canada
|British Columbia||Horticulture, dairy, poultry, eggs|
|Alberta||Cattle, grains and oilseeds|
|Saskatchewan||Grains, oilseeds, cattle|
|Manitoba||Grains, oilseeds, hogs|
|Ontario||Grains, oilseeds, horticulture, dairy|
|Quebec||Hogs, dairy, poultry, eggs|
|New Brunswick||Horticulture, dairy|
|Nova Scotia||Horticulture, dairy|
|Prince Edward Island||Aquaculture, horticulture, dairy|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||Horticulture, dairy|
|Northwest Territories||Eggs, greenhouse products|
|Nunavut||Caribou, wild berries|
Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Crop and animal production in Canada
Canada’s agribusiness industry has a strong history of adapting to economic and environmental changes. In recent years, the share of farm market receipts has shifted from livestock to crops. Now, technological advances are transforming the way agriculture companies do business. Canadian digitization projects* include AI-backed facial recognition technology for cows, camera and AI-powered herbicide distribution systems, and autonomous tractors.
* Projects submitted under Stream 4 of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF)
Food and beverage processing in Canada
Food and beverage processing generates most of the manufacturing activity in Canada and benefits from continuous supply from Canadian farms. Canada is 11th globally in food and beverage processing exports.
Investing in Agriculture and Agri-food in Canada
As part of the Accelerated Investment Incentive, Canada introduced federal tax credits which include an immediate 100% write-off for newly acquired manufacturing and processing equipment. Canada is also the first country in the G20 to offer a tariff-free zone for industrial manufacturers, allowing investors to import advanced machinery and equipment from their parent companies with no import duties.
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) is a five-year, $3 billion federal-provincial-territorial investment in the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sectors.
The Protein Industries Supercluster focuses on evolving agricultural production with plant genomics and novel processing to satisfy growing markets for plant-based meat alternatives. It is expected to contribute over $4.5B to Canada’s GDP over 10 years.
The Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Program provides tax credits and refunds for expenditures on eligible R&D activity in Canada. Examples include:
- Operations research
- Experimentation on environmentally friendly pest control regimes
- Investments in bio-digesters to reduce methane production
The Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) bolsters business investments in Canada's most dynamic and innovative sectors. As of June 2021, four SIF projects representing over $100 million in SIF funding are underway in Agri-food.
Other agribusiness programs include:
- Advance Payments Program
- Cash advance on the value of the agricultural products.
- AgriInnovate Program
- Repayable contributions that aim to accelerate the demonstration, commercialization and/or adoption of innovative technologies, products, processes or services.
- Cost-shared insurance for natural hazards in order to minimize the financial implications of production and/or asset losses.
- AgriScience Program - Projects
- Funding and support for pre-commercial science activities and cutting-edge research.
- Dairy Processing Investment Fund
- Up to $10 million to support investments in equipment and infrastructure.
- Living Laboratories Initiative: Collaborative Program
- Nation-wide network of sites where groups can collaborate to co-develop, assess and implement innovative solutions to address persistent agri-environmental issues.
- Saint-Hyacinthe Research and Development Centre’s Industrial Program
- Direct access to sophisticated equipment and a versatile research and development environment to agri-food companies.
- Technology transfer and licensing
- A variety of technologies and intellectual property available for commercialization.