Agri­cul­ture could add $11B a year to Canada’s GDP by 2030, re­port finds

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - FALL AUCTION GUIDE - Cana­dian Press South­ern Al­berta News­pa­pers

A new re­port says Canada’s agri­cul­ture in­dus­try could add $11 bil­lion an­nu­ally to gross do­mes­tic prod­uct by 2030 if gov­ern­ment invests in peo­ple and tech­nol­ogy.

A re­port from RBC says the sec­tor is on track to raise out­put from about $32 bil­lion to­day to $40 bil­lion in 2030, but could grow up to $51 bil­lion in­stead if govern­ments pro­vide funds to fix an im­pend­ing labour short­age and to boost in­no­va­tion.

The re­port an­tic­i­pates the in­dus­try will be short 123,000 work­ers by 2030, and an­tic­i­pates farm­ers will need highly spe­cial­ized skill sets in the fu­ture to man­age au­to­mated and tech­no­log­i­cally heavy op­er­a­tions.

It calls on the gov­ern­ment to in­vest more in ed­u­ca­tion, as well as re­think agri­cul­tural ed­u­ca­tion and com­ple­men­tary fields, like com­puter sci­ence.

The re­port sug­gests in­dus­try groups co-or­di­nate a cam­paign to at­tract and re­tain young peo­ple, women, Indige­nous peo­ple and new Cana­di­ans to ca­reers in agri­cul­ture.

RBC spokesman John Stack­house says Canada is well-po­si­tioned to sup­ply food to the grow­ing global pop­u­la­tion.

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