Agriculture is foundational to Alberta’s economy. Alberta exported over $12.4 billion worth of agriculture and food products in 2020 and the Business Council of Alberta says the economic value of agri-food production and production is $10 billion. Global demand for food is predicted to increase by 50 per cent in the next 25 years. With the right conditions and changes, Alberta’s agri-food sector could grow and meet this demand.
Many in the agri-food sector have identified that there should be more value-added processing and production done in Alberta to get more value from our commodities. There are currently significant barriers to increasing value-added agriculture in Alberta, including, regulatory capacity, confusion about government services, a lack of access to capital for both industry to build facilities and for their municipal partners to build infrastructure to serve them, a lack of robust rural broadband internet, and political leadership not doing enough to champion the sector.
Alberta’s NDP is committed to championing agriculture and working with the agri-food sector to address barriers to growth. We have written eight policy proposals to increase value-add processing and production in Alberta.
- Agriculture Navigation Services
- Increase Staff dedicated to Agri-Food Sector and Value-Added Approvals
- Create Alberta Value-Add Incentive Program
- Local Food Incentive
- Lower capital borrowing costs for irrigation districts and municipalities
- Bridge the Digital Divide
- Agriculture and AgTech must be core part of technology strategy
- Support and Strengthen Post-Secondary Institutions