Monday, March 28, 2022

New study outlines challenges

A new study from agricultural economists outlines key challenges facing Canadian agriculture, including climate change, an increase in trade barriers and a decline in the growth of productivity.

Al Mussell, Ted Bilyea and Douglas Hedley of the Canadian Agri-Policy Institute recommend that the federal and provincial governments undertake an overhaul of their policies to address these developments.

They caution that policies to address climate change could threaten food production. They will certainly change farming practices and “at worst can undermine existing agricultural systems."

They said the rules governing world trade are being undermined by protectionism and some countries are stockpiling commodities. They also warn that China is investing heavily in agriculture in other countries to serve its needs, perhaps at the expense of domestic requirements.

They said governments must learn to work differently in the development of agriculture policies in this climate of “predatory trade disputes” and foreign investments.

And then there’s the matter of increasing costs, especially for nitrogen fertilizer and energy.