The Canadian agricultural sector is able to annually provide additional revenues of about $ 11 billion to the country's GDP by 2030, provided that the government invests in technology and human capital.
This is stated in the report of the Royal Bank of Canada - RBC, which is also the country's largest company.
Bank Vice President John Stackhouse, one of the drafters of the report, named the reasons why it is necessary to give a new impetus to the development of the agricultural industry.
According to the Canadian Press Agency, he indicated, first of all, that food demand in the 2020s will grow rapidly. It is enough that by 2030 the number of consumers in the world will increase by 835 million, and by 4 million in Canada itself.
Another favorable factor is the possibility of entering new markets as a result of trade agreements with Europe, the USA and Asian countries.
However, recently the country's agricultural production has frozen in place, the authors of the report believe, since the use of new technologies is lagging behind other countries. Canada's share in world exports has declined from 4,9% in 2000 to 3,9% at present.
If nothing is done, then other countries will take advantage of the new opportunities. According to Stackhouse, the leaders in the application of new technologies in agriculture are the Netherlands, Israel, Australia and the United States.
For example, California has always sought to find as many workers as possible to harvest. And now they have focused on automation and use the technique to thin out weeds, collect lettuce and inspect strawberries.
In Canada, farmers are also beginning to use field automation, including an image recognition system for sorting fruits. But such a revolution in agriculture requires skilled workers who are able to implement change. The report notes that in the future in agriculture there will be a move away from manual labor towards managing technologically complex operations, providing technical support and performing other highly qualified tasks.
Canadian farmers are also beginning to shift to automation in their fields, including the use of pattern recognition technology to sort fruits.
There was a favorable historical opportunity to take advantage of the new technology, which appears on the market and is already being applied in large part in the agriculture of Canada. There is an opportunity to replicate the experience, but this will not happen if there is no staff and the ability to seize the opportunity.
In this regard, the report calls on the government to invest more in education, as well as to revise the system of agricultural education and related scientific disciplines, including computer technology, in order to better prepare staff and give them the necessary skills that the future development of the industry will require.
The government should solve the problem of labor shortages, as the forthcoming massive reduction in the number of farmers has already been outlined on the horizon. The fact is that by 2025 every fourth farmer in the country will be 65 years old or more, and young people come to agriculture every year 600 less.
Within 10 years, as the authors of the report suggest, 123 thousand jobs will be vacant in agriculture. Therefore, various groups should launch a campaign to attract young people, women, and indigenous people to the industry.
All this can annually give an additional GDP of up to $ 11 billion by 2030. If everything develops in this way, agricultural production will approximately increase from the current 32 billion dollars to more than 40 billion dollars by 2030.
A source: https://kvedomosti.ru