Agriculture has long been one of the key components of the Canadian economy. Currently, it’s responsible for 1 of every 9 Canadian Jobs, and farms cover 6.9% of Canada’s landmass. Currently, the largest 10% of farms create 2/3rds of all farm-related profit in Canada. But new policy and technology adoption funds should push farm technologies to even the smallest and more remote farmers.
Currently, Canada’s Agri-food sector is valued at $139.9B, contributing 7.4% of our GDP. While Canada faces strong international competition, our country is still home to many of the most prominent, strongest, and leading agritech companies in the world.
The Canadian Government’s Investments in Agritech
Canada is dedicated to providing startups with agritech innovations, and through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (launched by the federal government to provide $3 billion in investments for five years), many companies can now enjoy the following:
- New livestock breeds
- New crops
- New farm machinery
- New tilling methods
- Better nutrient management practices
The program also brings advancements in precision agriculture, communication, biotechnology, and information technologies. It is also dedicated to supporting the country’s agriculture efforts in various ways, such as:
- A diversity initiative
- Promoting sustainable growth
- Growing and expanding trade
The Canadian Agricultural Clean Technology Program opened applications in August 2021 and is still accepting applications for their Research and Innovation Stream. If you are more interested in Local Food Infrastructure, the government has created a 5-year, $60 million initiative ending March 31, 2024. Applications open on June 1st, 2022.
Regulations Promoting Urban Agriculture
While Canada is home to some Urban Farms, and most famously a modular controlled-ag system, you have to be aware of local food charters to better understand where and what you can grow, build, or create.
Many new technologies have made a difference in agriculture and have contributed to providing more efficiency, intelligence, and cost reduction in food production. Agritechs and startups that specialize in developing various technologies in making this sector more competitive now have a more vital role.
The biggest coming change to agriculture and food production is the re-hyperlocalization of it. Ontario has lofty carbon emission goals, and food transportation is costly and resource-intensive. For the past few hundred years, policymakers have seen agriculture as something performed in rural areas. Now there are a few initiatives that could help bring more Urban farms to Canadian cities.
Why You Should Move Your Agritech Business to Canada
Here are just a few great reasons why you should create your next agritech startup in Canada:
There’s Space Here
The Agritech market in Canada still has a long way to go. In 2018, Canadian startups only raised 3.4% in dollars of the financing, whereas the US raised 48% of their financing. Despite this fact, Canada is home to many Agritech Start-ups across fields such as;
- Farm management
- Crop protection
- Genetics and reproduction
- Water management and irrigation
- Farming systems
- Machinery and robotics
- Solutions for consumers
& And more
Even with the plethora of companies starting up in Canada, the Government is actively recruiting more, and there are gaps in the industry that need to be addressed before this technology is embraced by traditional farmers. One of the main pitfalls for agritech adoption is UX and reliability. Many small farms run off seasonal work forces, and if something isn’t easy to adopt and reliable, it’ll probably become a relic in a field.
An Innovative Ecosystem
The Government has also given plenty of attention to the Canadian innovation incentive system. It supports the development of agritech within an ecosystem that has been created by accelerators, investors, incubators, as well as research centers, and universities. Additionally, we have federal programs that support innovation in agriculture, such as:
- The Agri-Food Table
- The Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED)
- The Canadian Agricultural Partnership
- The Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)
- The Innovation Superclusters Initiative
Clean and Sustainable Solutions
Furthermore, the development of our clean technologies has contributed toward a low-carbon footprint and is also an initiative by Canada’s government. These initiatives support many solutions that not only increase energy efficiency but also reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. For instance, our Living Laboratories Initiative helps to bring scientists, farmers, and other collaborators together to create technologies that can help to mitigate and adapt to climate change, increase biodiversity, and lower water contamination.
A Wide Range of Potential Customers
With a wide range of farm types and animal husbandry, there is a vast range of places for agritech solutions to be applied. If you feel that there is oversaturation in highly technical farming processes, it may be time to widen your lens. Canada, in its traditional fashion, has the potential to be a melting pot for a meeting of cultures and solutions that help everyone from commercial farming to balcony hobbyists.
Resources for Agriculture Related Businesses in Canada
The Agriculture Science and Innovation website has a wide range of links with sectoral information, investing programs, and science data.
If you’re hoping to listen and learn, start with Impact Farming, hosted by Tracy Burnet. The podcast mission is to bring Canadian farmers the knowledge that they need to excel in the business of farming so that they can manage, grow and one day pass on a thriving family farm to the next generation.
If you’re just starting to explore Agritech or vertical farming, or you’re a founder who wants to listen to other agritech founders, check out the Vertical Farming Podcast, hosted by Harry Duran.
Launch Your Start-Up with BHive
Brampton is right in the middle of a huge and calculated transformation, where it has placed priority on the innovation of startups and technological breakthroughs. Our workforce has made it easy to become highly competitive by today’s standards, and we have since become leaders in creating, developing, and maintaining the best talent. Our Brampton location is the perfect place to get started on your agritech company today — check out our Start-Up Visa Program to learn more today!