Rail_Transportation_Photo cred Adobe stock
The government’s efforts to support Canada’s farmers and food processors includes a full review of rail service across western Canada.
Photo by Adobe Stock.
TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA — The government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan aims to grow Canada’s agri-food exports to at least $75 billion annually by 2025, according to the nation’sBudget 2017issued on March 22.

“In recent years, industry growth has been strong, with farm revenues, annual exports and farm incomes all reaching record highs,” the government of Canada said. “Despite this strong performance, there is still room for further growth — growth that can be achieved through innovation and the development of value-added products.”

The government’s efforts to support Canada’s farmers and food processors include:

• Launching a full review of rail service across western Canada.

• Creating a $10.1 billion Trade and Transportation Fund that will invest in gateways and ports, to help get agri-food products to market.

• Successfully completing the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union, and making ongoing efforts to expand market access for Canadian agri-food producers throughout Asia.

• Eliminating tariffs on a broad range of agri-food processing ingredients, covering approximately $700 million in annual imports, to strengthen the competitiveness of Canadian agri-food manufacturers at home and abroad.

• Improving access to support for agri-food value-added processors through the new Strategic Innovation Fund.

• Investing $500 million to support the expansion of broadband networks in rural Canada and $2 billion to support rural infrastructure including roads and bridges, making it easier for Canada’s agri-food producers to connect to markets in Canada and internationally.

The Canadian government said the next agricultural policy framework will be introduced in 2018, and as part of the development of the framework it is considering ways in which innovation in agriculture may help strengthen the sector as a whole.

The Canadian government said it invested $30 million over six years to support advanced research in agricultural science and genomics at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada as part of Budget 2016. As part of Budget 2017, the Canadian government wants to build on its funding, with plans to invest $70 million over six years, starting in 2017-18. The funding would be used to support agricultural discovery science and innovation, with a focus on addressing emerging priorities such as climate change and soil and water conservation.