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Agriculture is a significant industry in Canada. Only 7% of Canada’s land can be used for farming. Raising cattle is an option for other marginal (poorer) land. On the East and West Coasts, as well as in the Great Lakes, are aquaculture enterprises.
In metropolitan areas, greenhouses are used to grow various crops, including tomatoes, marijuana, and flowers. There are multiple difficulties with Canadian agriculture. Crop protection, soil conservation, labour, climate change, and health are a few of these issues.
The Agriculture Sector in Canada
A crucial part of Canada’s economy is agriculture. There were 269,000 farming employees as of 2018. Farmers, in turn, provide the much larger enterprises involved in food production and processing (see Agriculture and Food).
Cattle and calves, beef and veal, vegetables, poultry, and canola are a few of Canada’s main agricultural exports. Canadian businesses export crops, beef, maple syrup, and many other things. The most prominent exporter of agricultural goods worldwide is Canada. More than $60 billion was spent on these exports in 2016.
Canada’s agricultural sector is diverse and dynamic. Most of it still involves the traditional production of food-related animals and crops. However, aquaculture is now widely practised in Canada. (The farming of fish and other aquatic creatures is known as aquaculture.) Protected cultivation is another form of agriculture. This involves cultivating food, flowers, mushrooms, and cannabis in greenhouses or storage facilities.
Others raise animals for their fur or grow crops for various purposes (e.g., fibre for composite building materials). Organic food is produced in Canada in some cases. This implies that crops and livestock are grown under audited settings (e.g., relating to the use of crop protection products or livestock access to the outdoors).
Many businesses in Canada, including agriculture, get financing from the federal and provincial governments. The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is the name of the current agricultural support scheme. Public subsidies support research, export, and commerce in agriculture. They aid farmers in implementing cutting-edge techniques and equipment. Such advancements can reduce both efficiency and environmental impact. The establishment of rules and control over food safety and inspection are additional responsibilities of the government.
Can I Lease Land for Farming?
The short answer is Yes, but it’s not an easy task. You cannot simply visit a website and register.
Here in British Columbia, this typically occurs when a family gives or sells land to the government for use as parkland, but they are still permitted to lease it back for as long as they live. On the 21-kilometre island I reside on, there are numerous instances like this.
Of course, it would be incredibly challenging to find yourself in such a predicament if you are an immigrant. You are more likely to be able to economically lease farmland from a private owner who subsequently benefits from the tax advantages of the property being farmed.
Because the landowner can save hundreds of dollars in property taxes, it is not uncommon for such acreage to be leased for $1/acre in populous areas here in British Columbia.
How to Lease Land for Farming?
Most land is privately held and would be leased in this manner. You would need to browse newspaper and online classified listings for advertising placed by those looking to lease their land.
Which province is better? That depends on the cattle farming you are interested in and whether you require land to grow feed. They all have their own speciality farming zones.
If you want to lease land for farming in Canada, below are some of the issues and developments that you need to focus.
Issues and Developments in Canadian Agriculture
There is pressure on Canadian farmers to increase food production. They have to take care of their farms’ animals, the environment, and the water. Crop protection, soil conservation, labour, climate change, and health are a few issues that farmers face.
Protection of Crops
Crop growers use crop protection products, fertiliser, and/or manure to increase the output of field crops. Herbicides (for weeds), pesticides (for insects), and fungicides are some of these products (for fungal diseases). Farmers strive to stop field runoff and other goods’ potentially harmful environmental impacts. The fees and terms of their use are specified in guidelines created by business and governments. Additionally, as new, “greener,” and more specialised goods become available, farmers use them.
Conservation of Soils
Crop growers use soil conservation techniques to safeguard their fields. Contour ploughing is one illustration. When it rains heavily, crop rows that go straight up a slope run the risk of accelerating erosion. Rainwater may be able to carry soil down these rows by acting as channels. In contrast, ploughing that adheres to a slope’s contours results in rows that are parallel to the water’s flow. Rows like these will reduce runoff and stop erosion.
Lack of Workforce
More labour are desperately needed for Canadian farms. Numerous Canadians are opposed to working on farms. The majority of Canadians seek year-round employment, but much farm work is seasonal. Canadians occasionally complain that farm work is too difficult or pays too little. Other times, farms are situated in isolated locations where few people choose to dwell.
As a result, Canadian farmers have been using temporary workers from other nations for years. Agriculture in Canada employed over 55,000 temporary foreign workers in 2018. (See Canada’s Programs for Temporary Foreign Workers.)
Farms are impacted by climate change; for instance, heat waves and droughts can harm crops and cattle. In addition, farming generates greenhouse gases that aid in climate change, such as those from tractors and cattle. Over the past three decades, farmers in Canada have significantly cut their carbon emissions.
However, their overall contribution in the 21st century has remained constant when accounting for other greenhouse gases.
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