Canadian agriculture is all about feeding people, contributing to Canada’s economic prosperity and caring for the environment. The plant science industry plays an important role in this by delivering tools like pesticides and biotech crops to farmers that help them succeed in these areas.
CropLife Canada commissioned a study in 2016 to measure our industry’s contribution to these goals in Canada. When you add up all the benefits plant science technologies deliver to Canadians, it’s pretty remarkable.
The benefits directly touch Canadian families. In fact, the average Canadian family saves about $4,400 on groceries every year because pesticides and biotech crops help farmers produce a reliable and affordable food supply.
The study also reinforced that these technologies deliver substantial environmental benefits. Pesticides and biotech crops help farmers make the most of the land already being used to grow food, which allows them to leave natural habitats untouched and support biodiversity.
Without pesticides and biotech crops farmers would need 50 per cent more land than they use today to grow the same amount of food.
Plant science innovations also help farmers reduce greenhouse gas emissions and cut back on fuel use all while helping farmers improve the quality of their soil and make it less vulnerable to wind and water erosion.
An important part of agriculture’s sustainability story is the economic viability of the industry. Plant science innovations help to drive greater productivity on the farm and deliver economic benefits for the industry and the economy as a whole.
One in eight jobs in Canada is tied to agriculture and more than 130,000 of those are the direct result of the plant science industry. Agriculture might not be top-of-mind for people when they think about economic drivers for Canada but the plant science industry contributes about $9.8 billion to the GDP each year. A big part of this comes from our strong agricultural exports. Canada ranks number five in the world in agricultural exports.
Canadian agriculture is an incredible success story. The way Canada has embraced technologies such as pesticides and biotech crops is an example for many other parts of the world where farmers and communities haven’t been given the opportunity to benefit from these tools. For more information on the plant science industry’s contributions in Canada, visit www.helpingcanadagrow.ca.