Investments in agricultural science and innovation help create better opportunities for farmers and Canadians

News Release

April 12, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The agriculture and agri-food sector is a key driver of the Canadian economy, supplying 1 in 8 jobs, and is a trusted global leader of safe, nutritious, and sustainable food.

Agricultural discoveries in science and innovation play an integral role in the overall competitiveness of the agriculture sector and create better opportunities for farmers, businesses, and Canadians.

Today, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, and Minister of Science, Kirsty Duncan, highlighted the Government of Canada’s investments in scientific agricultural research during a tour of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Ottawa Research and Development Centre.

Budget 2017 proposes to invest $70 million over six years, starting in 2017–18, to further support agricultural discovery science and innovation. The focus of this research will be on addressing emerging priorities, such as climate change and soil and water conservation.

This investment builds on the Budget 2016’s $30 million commitment over six years for advanced research to mitigate biological threats to agriculture.

Minister MacAulay highlighted these combined investments of $100 million, along with other funds committed in Budget 2017 that will boost innovation in Canada, and help the agriculture sector be more competitive and sustainable. This includes setting an ambitious target to grow agri-food exports to at least $75 billion annually by 2025. This is all part of the Government's plan to create good jobs and grow the middle class.


"Science is the cornerstone of the Government’s plan to create good jobs in the agri-food sector and to grow the middle class. Our commitment to funding cutting-edge agricultural research will help farmers grow the economy, feed a growing population, protect the environment and combat climate change."

- Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

"To be successful in the highly competitive global economy, Canada must continue to strengthen its approach to performing world-leading research and generating new breakthrough ideas. In this context, the Government has an important role to play in advancing science, research and innovation, the pillars of strong economies."

- Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

Quick Facts

  • Canada is the world’s fifth-largest exporter of agriculture and food products, and contributes over $100 billion annually to Canada's gross domestic product (GDP). The agriculture and agri-food industry employs 2.2 million Canadians.

  • Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, provides leadership in the growth, development and sustainability of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector.

  • Scientists at AAFC’s 20 research centres across the country work on projects that benefit Canadian farmers, industry and Canadians.

Associated Links


Guy Gallant
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
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