Annex: Climate-smart agriculture
Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector plays an important role in growing the food that feeds Canadians and is exported to many parts of the world. In 2019, the agriculture and agri-food system (including food retail and food service) accounted for one in eight jobs and employed over two million people. It also drives $143 billion of Canada’s GDP (7.2%), over $66 billion in exports, and almost $15 billion of Canada’s trade surplus. The sector has demonstrated a commitment to sustainable practices that help protect Canada’s air, water, and the climate but also accounts for 10% of Canada’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, mainly through animal production, on-farm fuel use, and fertilizer application. Agricultural lands can also act as “carbon sinks” by storing (or sequestering) carbon in the soil, reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Moving forward, the Government of Canada will work with farmers, ranchers and agri-food businesses in the transition to a low carbon economy, including by supporting the adoption of cleaner practices and technologies, and including practices that enhance carbon sinks.
Key measures to date
- Collaborated with provinces and territories to encourage investment, adaptation and sustainable growth in the sector through four Agricultural Policy Frameworks and launched the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to ensure continued innovation, growth, and environmental stewardship in the sector.
- Supported the development of environmental farm plans and other environmental risk management plans, as well as the implementation of beneficial management practices (BMPs).
- Funded 20 projects under the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program to develop, verify and validate 65 new greenhouse gas mitigation technologies or BMPs.
- Invested $25 million through the Agricultural Clean Technology program in the development and adoption of on-farm clean technologies, such as precision agriculture and agri-based bioproducts.
- Approved over 200 projects related to the agriculture sector under the Climate Action Incentive Fund (Small and Medium Enterprise projects stream).
- Launched the Protein Industries Supercluster to reduce agricultural waste, as well as increase the value of key Canadian crops, and satisfy growing international markets for plant-based meat alternatives and new food products.
- Up to $436 million in federal-provincial-territorial funding is available for farmers to adopt sustainable land management and other beneficial management practices.
- The federal GHG Offset System, which the Government of Canada is developing as part of its approach to pricing carbon pollution, will generate additional economic opportunities in sectors such as agriculture and forestry.
Agricultural soils removed six million tonnes of atmospheric carbon from the air in 2018.
- More than 80% of land prepared for seeding is already under no till or conservation tillage, practices that can increase crop yield, reduce energy use and costs, and improve carbon sequestration, among other benefits.
- The federal carbon pollution pricing system provides targeted relief for the agricultural sector, including for farmers, greenhouse operators, and residents of rural and small communities.
A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy contains new measures for the agricultural sector
- Investing $165.7 million over seven years to support the agriculture industry in developing transformative clean technologies and help farmers adopt commercially available clean technology.
- Working with provinces and territories under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to boost climate-smart agriculture, including actions related to crop and livestock production.
- Setting a national emission reduction target of 30% below 2020 levels from fertilizers and work with fertilizer manufacturers, farmers, provinces and territories, to develop an approach to meet it.
- Helping farmers diversify by producing feedstocks for biofuels.
- Consulting with investors and other stakeholders in developing tax measures to ensure that Canada has
- a competitive investment environment for the commercialization of technologies to help meet
- and exceed Canada’s Paris Agreement target.
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