There’s no doubt that the world of international trade has been rough and tumble the last while, but that doesn’t mean Canada shouldn’t continue to participate. Beyond just participating, Canada should be actively investing in agriculture’s major potential on the world stage now, and in the decades to come.
It’s no secret to those in the industry that agriculture is valuable and important to the economy, but, nationally, policymakers have not made it the strategic priority it needs to be, says John Stackhouse, senior vice president at RBC Royal Bank.
As far as economic drivers go, agriculture really doesn’t get the respect, focus, and investment it should, and in a recent report, RBC’s Stackhouse says that, that needs to change if we’re to position Canada as an economic powerhouse in the future.
Given the right amount of attention, agriculture’s contribution to the economy could eclipse both the auto and aeronautic sectors combined to advancement. So why doesn’t it get the same kind of respect and attention?
Stackhouse says, in this episode of Mind Your Farm Business, that it’s largely because agriculture is somewhat “hidden” — it’s rural and it impacts fewer people in cities. But those same people who don’t “see” agriculture are the ones who will need the tax base to support our health care system in the 2020s and 2030s, and it’s domestic processing and international trade in agriculture products that will get us there.
Looking at the larger picture, there will be tremendous demand for food in the coming decades. The world will want and need more of Canadian food and food products, and we need to be ready. Stackhouse says Canada needs to be more ambitious in its trade goals and value-added sector to get there.
Listen now (or download for later!) to the full discussion between host Shaun Haney and RBC Royal Bank’s John Stackhouse:
Read the full RBC Royal Bank economic report here.
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