The federal government, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, revealed its latest budget, and agriculture and agri-food figures prominently in the 2017-18 fiscal plan.
From new export targets and spending programs designed to “uncap the potential of the agriculture industry,” this budget commits $8.2 billion under the Skills and Innovation Plan with a goal of increasing Canada’s agri-food exports from $55 billion to $75 billion annually by the year 2025.
According to Soy Canada’s Jim Everson, “this is a positive step in signalling to international importers and end-users that Canadian agriculture has the capacity to meet international demand.”
The budget also focuses on the importance of agriculture innovation. “We are pleased to see the government heed the advice of the Advisory Council on Economic Growth and recognize the critical role innovation plays in growing our sector,” said Executive Director Jim Everson. “Agriculture research and innovation are key pillars that help our industry develop new technology and stay competitive in international markets.”
Other budget highlights related to the agriculture sector include commitments to prioritizing trade with key Asian markets, investing in rail and transportation projects, and supporting Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.