The Alberta and Canadian governments will invest more than $400 million in Alberta agriculture sector over the next five years. This new budget is part of the Canadian agricultural partnership and aims to make the sector more innovative and sustainable.
Agriculture is the second largest sector in Alberta
In 2016, the province had more than 20 million hectares of farms. Irrigation, water and agricultural stewardship programs are expected to be launched by the beginning of April.
This new policy framework replaces the previous one, called Growing Forward 2, which had been in place since 2013.
For the next five years, the goal will be to make Alberta agriculture more innovative, more competitive, and meet the challenges demanded by the global measures against climate change.
Agriculture is the second largest sector in Alberta which is Canada’s largest producer of oil, natural gas, and coal. Besides, Alberta has the world’s second-largest crude oil reserve, after Saudi Arabia.
Even more, In Red Deer and Edmonton, many companies manufacture polyethylene and vinyl products for customers around the world. Petroleum refineries supply raw materials for a large petrochemical industry east of Edmonton.
Thus, Alberta agriculture needs remaining at a competitive level not only for Albertans food and profits but also to contribute to the fight against greenhouse gas emissions and climate change due to the many oil industry factories in the area.
More women to work in the Canadian agriculture
According to Alberta Agriculture Minister, Oneil Carlier, there are already some successes in agriculture and “if you grow in a more sustainable way, you also make more profits,” says the minister.
For his part, the federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, reiterated the importance of seeing more women working in agriculture, as a response to the recent meeting of the farmers from western Canada, where the problems of women work in agriculture has been raised.
Farmers from western Canada were meeting in Calgary on Monday and Tuesday and Iris Meck, the person in charge of the event, would have liked to see more government representatives there.
“The government should perhaps be present at this conference to listen to women’s issues,” Iris Meck says.
Today, 65% of agriculture and allied students in Canada are women, according to Meck.
In conclusion, Alberta agriculture will receive $400 million from the Alberta and Canadian Governments to sustain this sector of activity, which is the second-largest in the region.