As the oldest industry in human civilization, it should come as no surprise that agriculture remains one of Canada’s most sustainable and profitable enterprises.
Agriculture, is the cultivation of animals, plants and other forms of food, fiber, bio-fuel, and medicine that are ultimately used to sustain and enhance human life. But there is a lot to the industry that most Canadians don’t know.
It’s Agriculture Week at TalentEgg, and we’ve created a handy introductory article to introduce you to this incredible industry. Check it out!
Canada’s agricultural industry in economic terms
Canada’s agricultural industry remains one of the country’s largest industries. In fact, Canada’s agriculture industry contributes $100B to Canada’s GDP annually! That’s more than the national GDP of 2/3 of the world’s countries!
This feat is largely due to Canada’s impressive size, fertile soils, geographical landscapes, ideal weather conditions and the diversity of flora and fauna present; from BC’s fisheries, to Saskatchewan’s grain fields, to Niagara’s wines to Quebec’s maple syrup. Canada is also the 5th largest agricultural exporter in the world!
The agricultural industry also employs Canadians across the country. With agricultural ventures being pursued in virtually every province and territory, approximately 2.1 million Canadians work in agriculture/agri-food today. This represents 12% of Canada’s labour force. Put differently, 1 in every 8 jobs in Canada are in agriculture.
Horticulture is likely the branch of agriculture you are most familiar with. It’s the art, science and business of plant cultivation. In other words, horticulture is gardening – which includes the growth and harvesting of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and flowers.
Horticulturists apply their knowledge and skills to grow and produce fauna. Their work is typically aimed at improving plant growth, yields, nutritional value, resistance to insects and diseases, as well as resilience against temperate weather conditions.
Agribusiness is specialized field within the agricultural industry. It refers to activities and stages in food and fibre production and processing that do not take place within the farm.
To put more simply, agribusiness is what happens to the raw materials after they are farmed. It also includes the production of farm machinery and equipment, fertilizers used to aid crop production, and the pesticides used to protect them.
Agribusiness also includes firms that purchase raw goods and material from a farm or fishery for the purpose of further processing. The flour mill, meat-packing industry, canning industry, and textile industry are also included in the agribusiness sector processing farm products. A recent growth area in agribusiness is the advent of organized farmland investment funds, operating on the model of direct land ownership with rental back to farmers as operators.
Supply Chain Management
Supply chain management is central to the economic development and prowess of Canada’s agricultural industry.
It is, by definition, the management of the flow of goods. While supply chain management also plays a large role in manufactured goods, supply chain management in the agricultural industry is concerned with the storage and transportation of raw materials (that are produced on farms), work-in process inventory (agribusiness) and finished consumer goods from point of origin to sale and consumption.
Today, a greater percentage of the agriculture industry is more involved in designing, planning and executing logistical operations for production and processing consumer goods from raw materials.
Forestry is another sector under the umbrella of the agriculture industry. Broadly defined, forestry is the creation, management, use, conservation and repair of forests and associated resources to sustain and enhance human life.
In Canada, the forestry industry is a major contributor to Canada’s economy, contributing over $23B in 2010. In fact, Canada boasts 10% of the world’s forested land, and over 50% of Canada’s land is covered by forests!