Agriculture in Canada
Canada’s agricultural sector is a key component of our national economy and identity. The agriculture and agri-food system provides 1 in 8 jobs to Canadians, contributing 6.7 % of national GDP in 2013. Canada is the world’s fifth largest agricultural exporter, producing 80% of the world’s maple syrup, and significant amounts of flaxseed, canola, pulses and durum wheat.
The small-scale, local food sector in Canada is growing. Canadians are increasingly interested in sustainable food systems. Consumers and producers are getting involved in sustainable farming, organic agriculture, local food movements, urban agriculture, and addressing national food insecurity.
Youth in Canadian Agriculture
Demographic trends in Canada indicate a dearth of youth involvement and an aging farming population. The Government of Canada considers young farmers essential to the continuation of food production, but youth account for only 7.5% of farmers. From 1991-2011, the number of farm operators decreased by 25%, and in 2011, over half of farms had operators over the age of 55.
The Government of Canada and many non-profit organizations began initiatives to support youth involvement in agriculture. There are many initiatives to link young Canadians interested in agricultural research and development in the Global South.
The Canadian branch of YPARD is budding, and serves two purposes:
- To link existing Canadian organizations focused on promoting youth in agriculture and agricultural research.
- To facilitate international networking between farmers and researchers in Canada to those in the global YPARD community and beyond.
At this time, YPARD Canada is focusing on expanding its membership. Sign up to promote youth in agriculture!