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Federal Policy in Agriculture

Canadian Agri-Food Research Council

Canada's agri-food sector contributes 11 percent of the gross domestic product and 15 percent of the country's total employment. In 1992, the Canadian Agri-Food Research Council (CARC) created a five-year strategy concerning agri-food research in Canada, through guidance from the Canadian agri-food sector. This national strategy was implemented with the help of the country's Ministers of Agriculture and provided a strategic direction for the agri-food sector until 1997. The strategy is now renewed every five years to meet the changing needs of the agri-foods industry.

Canada's agri-food sector contributes 11 percent of the gross domestic product and 15 percent of the country's total employment. This sector contributes billions of dollars to the Canadian economy and has an enormous growth potential for the future. The CARC has identified innovation as one of the key factors for continued success in Canada’s agri-foods industry.

Research and development has modernized the province's agri-food sector, an industry worth billions of dollars worldwide.Research and development has transformed the agri-foods industry in the public and private sectors. Although most of the focus has been on downsizing and reducing operating costs, new research and development facilities have emerged. The emphasis on short-term, business-related research is now being balanced by traditional research into agri-food science. The CARC describes this balance between industrial research and scientific research as a key to stable development in the agri-foods industry. The CARC has recommended several strategies to the federal and provincial governments to improve the agri-foods industry. Some of these strategies are

  • Ensuring Sustainable Use of Resources. The provincial governments, in partnership with the federal government, ensure that issues surrounding the environment are properly managed and agricultural resources are properly managed.
  • Developing Research Priorities. The CARC will work to develop cooperation and collaboration between the federal government, provincial governments, universities and the private sector on various research projects.
  • Increase Participation of the Private Sector in Research. Research and commercialization of innovative products and ideas has traditionally been conducted by research firms affiliated with government funding. The CARC hopes to balance research between government funded projects and private sector ventures.
  • Attract and Retain Top Scientists and Researchers. The CARC would like to work with Canadian universities and governments to encourage enrollment in the sciences and develop world-class science programs to attract international students.

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