The Government of Canada supports Canadian seed system to boost organic and climate-resilient farming 

News release

March 31, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Canada is recognized worldwide as a leading producer, processor and exporter of high-quality seed for a wide range of crops, providing for over 60,000 jobs. Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of up to $750,000 for SeedChange to achieve an enhanced Canadian seed system that is equipped to support the development and long-term competitiveness of farmer-bred grain and vegetable varieties for organic and climate-resilient farming.

The project aims to implement demonstration sites across the country to evaluate and showcase farmer-bred and/or Canadian-grown varieties that thrive in organic and climate-resilient farming conditions. It will create a range of knowledge-transfer tools and learning opportunities for farmers, seed companies and researchers in their region. It is expected that the project will increase commercial adoption and use of Canadian-grown seed, enhance the practice of farmer-led plant breeding methodologies and increase market trade opportunities in the value chain.

This funding, under the Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program, will help to support Canadian seed by diversifying it’s varieties to consumers and provide new opportunities to farmers. By reaching new consumers and markets, the agricultural economy will continue to grow, keeping the sector positioned for long-term competitiveness. International seed trade includes: germplasm exchange, global research and development programs, contract production for export, and marketing new varieties imported into Canada.

The Government of Canada will continue to support innovative projects that develop and implement the best practices for farmers, as it helps economic growth and supports a strong and competitive agricultural sector. 


“Our government is helping to develop new organic and climate-resilient seeds. To build an increasingly sustainable sector, we want to ensure that many agricultural producers have access to these more resilient seed varieties and that they adopt best practices.”

-   The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food 

“I’m pleased that the Government of Canada is supporting SeedChange in their important work to ensure our seed system is strong and competitive. Today’s announcement will bring SeedChange and farmers together for important discussions on the future of Canadian seed diversity, Canadian-grown varieties of grain and climate resilience. Discussions and collaboration will keep the Ag sector strong, and allow Canadians living in urban ridings like mine to access high-quality food.”

-   Yasir Naqvi, Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre

“Seed diversity is a crucial tool for climate change adaptation, which is why SeedChange works with Canadian organic farmers and seed growers to preserve seed diversity and breed new varieties on their farms. This new funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will increase the adoption of Canadian-grown varieties of grain and vegetable seed among organic farmers and increase climate resilience in Canada's agricultural sector."

-   Leticia Ama Deawuo, Executive Director, SeedChange

Quick facts

  • The Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program (CASPP) is a $50.3 million, five-year investment, to help the agricultural sector adapt and remain competitive.

  • SeedChange’s Canadian field program, The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, works with farmers and seed growers across the country to increase the quality, quantity, and diversity of Canadian-grown seeds that are adapted to organic and climate-resilient farming practices.

  • 2020/2021, Canadian seed exports were supplied to over 113 different countries and were valued at approximately C$851 million. The top 5 importing nations over this period were the United States ($379.0 million), China ($96.6 million), Japan ($39.7 million), India ($29.9 million), and Turkey ($26.5 million).

  • Canadian seed companies and plant breeders are involved in many aspects of the international seed trade such as germplasm exchange, global research and development programs, contract production for export, and marketing new varieties imported into Canada.

  • The total economic impact (direct and indirect) of the seed industry in Canada is estimated at over $6 billion annually.

  • The implied employment effect of the seed industry is 63,622 jobs and $2.26 billion in wages and salaries.

Associated links


Marianne Dandurand
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
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