40% of Canadian farmers plan to retire over the next decade
A big number of Canadian farmers plan to retire over the decade, more than 40 percent! That means the country will be 24,000 producers short by the year 2033, according to a report by Arrell AgriFood Institute at the University of Gwelf in conjunction with the Royal Bank of Canada.
The report also highlights two-thirds of farmers do not have a succession plan.
Dr. Even Fraser says that this crisis needs an urgent response.
“Farmers in this country, they’re getting older, and a lot of farmers don’t have what are called succession plans. They don’t have real plans to pass the farm on to the next generation, and the high cost of land means that it’s really hard for a young person to get into farming. This is a gap we’re going to have to address with some urgency.”
Looking to the next generation, Keith Currie, President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, explains what careers farm kids are heading for.
“There’s such a wide gamut of different career opportunities in services that support agriculture that are vitally crucial to the success of this business, whether it’s an advisor or banker, accountant, to all the various sciences— crop genetics, we need livestock genetics, we need soil sciences, software technicians, we need veterinarians, we need people to design equipment.,” Currie explains.
The Arrell Institute’s report does offer at least once solution to the impending farm operator shortage. The report states that, over the next decade, Canada will need to accept about 30,000 qualified and permanent immigrants to take over existing farms and greenhouses or establish their own.