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Growth expected in Canada’s agriculture sector: FCC

Canada ready to strengthen its position as one of the world’s top agriculture and agri-food trading nations: FCC.
Canada ready to strengthen its position as one of the world’s top agriculture and agri-food trading nations: FCC. Charlie Riedel / The Canadian Press/AP

Farm Credit Canada (FCC) says the country is set to strengthen its position as one of the top agriculture and agri-food trading nations in the world.

The optimism comes from two FCC reports that say agriculture will continue to be a major contributor to Canada’s economy.

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“Our optimism comes from a unique set of circumstances where demand for both Canada’s agriculture commodities and manufactured food products continues to grow,” said J.P. Gervais, the FCC’s chief agricultural economist.

“The stars are aligned for an industry that is already strong and has the potential to grow in a highly competitive world market.”

Canada had the world’s fifth highest total export values in 2016, exporting $24.6 billion worth of agriculture commodities in 2016, 6.3 per cent of the world’s total food exports.

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Only the United States, China, the Netherlands and Brazil exported more agriculture commodities during the year.

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For manufactured food products, Canada ranked 11th in total exports at 19.1 billion, 3.2 per cent of the world’s total food exports.

FCC said several of Canada’s food exports were among the fastest-growing ones in the world, including beef, pork, bread, fruit and nuts.

“When Canada’s reputation as a consistent producer of high-quality, safe agriculture commodities and food products is combined with growing world demand and our comparative advantage on so many key exports, the future looks pretty bright for Canadian agriculture,” Gervais said.

Canada’s Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay said the continued increase in exports aligns with the government’s goal of growing agriculture and the agri-food sector.

“I share FCC’s optimism in the future of Canadian agriculture and I am confident that our farmers and food processors are up to the challenge of reaching our target of $75 billion in agriculture and agri-food exports by 2025,” MacAulay said in a statement.

“We will continue to help farmers, producers and processors build their businesses globally with the help of FCC, a strong and stable partner to Canadian agriculture.”

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The Canadian agriculture sector employs 2.1 million people and is estimated to contribute 6.7 per cent annually to the country’s gross national product.

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