More than 40% of Canadian farmers are expected to retire within ten years. This will result in a shortage of 24,000 skilled workers in Canadian agriculture and horticulture.
Another consequence is that the country could face a food shortage. A study by the University of Guelph, the Boston Consulting Group and the Royal Bank of Canada warns against this.
Research also shows that two-thirds of these farmers do not yet know who will take over their farm. The study finds that the number of agricultural entrepreneurs in the country has increased from 346,000 to 262,000 in twenty years. Canada will need to welcome 30,000 immigrants over the next ten years to fill labor shortages and ensure that Canada’s agricultural sector can also produce more food for the world’s growing population.
Other countries, such as Japan and New Zealand, facing similar challenges, are rapidly developing national strategies. According to the study, they attract skilled foreign workers to enter the agricultural sector. The researchers believe that Canada should also move in this direction.
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