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Invest in Canada: Agriculture

Updated: January 6th, 2022

Canada’s agriculture and agri-food industry are its most lucrative. It’s the fifth-largest agricultural commodities exporter globally, has 7,800 businesses in food and beverage processing. Some of its top exports include canola, cattle and calves, beef and veal, vegetables and poultry, maple syrup, and various others.

In 2020, the sector employed 2.1 million people, accounting for 1 in 9 jobs in Canada, generating $139.3 billion (around 7.4 percent) of Canada's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Interested to find out how to invest in Canada’s agricultural and agri-food sector and how you could get Canadian citizenship by investment?

Reasons to Invest in Agriculture in Canada

woman holding basket of apples on farm | Invest in Canada

1. Lucrative International Trade and Domestic Market

Canada has an incredibly lucrative agricultural sector. In 2020, Canada exported nearly $74 billion in agriculture and food products (including raw agricultural materials, fish and seafood, and processed foods). Canada is the fifth-largest exporter of agri-food and seafood in the world, exporting to over 200 countries in 2020. From crops to meat production, you’ll have a wide variety of sectors to invest in. Here are some of the top three markets and commodities by province, and their GDPs from 2016 to 2020:


Top Agricultural Markets
SectorGDP
Alberta
Cattle and calves$4.9 billion
Canola$2.7 billion
Wheat$2.1 billion
British Columbia
Dairy$646 million
Vegetables$593 million
Floriculture, nursery, and sod$488 million
Manitoba
Canola$1.4 billion
Wheat$1.1 billion
Hogs$1 billion
New Brunswick
Potatoes$157 million
Dairy$112 million
Floriculture, nursery, and sod$47 million
Newfoundland and Labrador
Dairy$47 billion
Eggs$18 billion
Floriculture, nursery, and sod$9 billion
Nova Scotia
Dairy$144 billion
Fruit$60 billion
Vegetables$43 billion
Ontario
Dairy$2.1 billion
Vegetables$1.9 billion
Soybeans$1.7 billion
Prince Edward Island
Potatoes$242 billion
Dairy$87 billion
Cattle and calves$32 billion
Quebec
Dairy$2.4 billion
Hogs$1.3 billion
Poultry$781 billion
Saskatchewan
Canola$5.3 billion
Wheat$3.2 billion
Cattle and calves$1.4 billion

2. Incentives

Canada has various incentives to help develop and grow its already booming agricultural sector. Here are some of the top incentives that you could look forward to when you choose to invest in Canada’s agri-food and agricultural sector:

The Accelerated Investment Incentive has tax credits that will write off 100 percent of newly bought manufacturing and processing equipment in the first year. It is also the first G20 country to allow investors to import advanced machinery and equipment without paying import duties by offering a tariff-free zone.

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP)is a federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) $3 billion investment (2018-2023) aimed at strengthening the agriculture and agri-food sector by:

  • simplified and streamlined programs and services that are easier to access
  • improvements to programs that help you manage significant risks that threaten the viability of
  • your farm and are beyond your capacity to manage
  • $2 billion in FPT cost-shared strategic initiatives
  • $1 billion for federal activities and programs

The Protein Industries Supercluster is a project that aims to improve the transparency and productivity of Canadian farms. One of the main aims is to check if oats have been treated with harmful herbicides and back their “green” stance. It is a 153 million dollar government investment that should create 4,500 jobs and add $4.5 billion to Canada’s economy over 10 years. The project unites four small and medium-sized enterprises (SME):

  • Provision Analytics;
  • Verge Technologies;
  • Skymatics (all based in Calgary, Alberta) and;
  • Coutts Agro (based in Kindersley, Saskatchewan).

The Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Program gives income tax credits and refunds for expenses on eligible Research and Development (R&D) like:

  • operation research,
  • data collection,
  • engineering,
  • testing,
  • psychological research, and
  • design.

The Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) helps strengthen business investments in some of Canada’s most dynamic and innovative sectors by supporting, for example:

  • R&D projects,
  • Firm expansion,
  • Large-scale, global-investment attraction,
  • Collaborative technology demonstration projects,
  • Clean technology adoption and decarbonization.

Other Agribusiness programs include:

  • Advance Payments Program
  • AgriInnovate Program
  • AgriInsurance
  • AgriScience Program - Projects
  • Dairy Processing Investment Fund
  • Living Laboratories Initiative: Collaborative Program
  • Saint-Hyacinthe Research and Development Centre’s Industrial Program
  • Technology transfer and licensing

3. Sustainable Economic Growth

Canada’s agricultural and agrifood sectors are leaders in sustainability with the highest economic growth potential in Canada. Some of the key factors of the industry are:

  • abundant land and water resources
  • access to international markets
  • strong research and development capacity
  • strong global reputation as a trusted supplier of safe, top-quality food
  • strong stewards of the land

Ready to find out how you could invest in Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sectors and potentially get Canadian citizenship by investment?

How to Invest in Canada’s Agricultural Sector


There are various ways to invest in Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sectors and potentially reap the rewards of the incentives mentioned previously.

Business Immigration

If you would like to bring your existing agri-food or agricultural business to Canada or start your own business in Canada, you can do so through the Start-up Visa Program, which requires:

  • a minimum investment of $200,000 from designated Canadian venture capital fund; or
  • a minimum investment of $75,000 from a designated Canadian angel investor group.

There are also various provincial entrepreneur and investor visas that will give your permanent residency and could lead to Canadian citizenship by investment!

Investment Opportunities

Here are some great investment opportunities for you to consider:

  • British Columbia Entrepreneur Immigration Programs(3 streams);
  • Ontario Entrepreneur Program
  • Saskatchewan Entrepreneur Stream
  • Manitoba Investor Stream, and Entrepreneur Pathway
  • New Brunswick Entrepreneur Stream
  • Nova Scotia Entrepreneur Stream
  • Northwest Territories Business Stream
  • The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP)(Currently paused until April 2023);
  • Yukon Business Nominee Program.

Ready to start to invest in Canada?

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