Innovation, Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability in Canada

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The Canadian food and agriculture sector is for the most part competitive and export-oriented: although challenges and opportunities vary significantly between regions, primary agriculture benefits from an abundance of natural resources and faces limited environmental constraints. Negative environmental impacts of agriculture relate mainly to local water pollution by agricultural nutrients. Productivity growth, resulting from innovation and structural change, has driven production and income growth without significantly increasing pressure on resource use. Nonetheless, the capacity to innovate is crucial to take advantage of the growing and changing demand for food and agricultural products at the global level.

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Overview of food and agriculture challenges and performance in Canada

This chapter outlines the main challenges and opportunities for the food and agriculture sector of Canada, which will require innovation. It describes the overall economic, social and environmental context in which the sector operates, and the natural resource base upon which it relies. It provides an overview of the general geographical and economic characteristics of the country; and outlines the contribution of the agri-food system to the economy. It identifies the main structural characteristics of primary agricultural and upstream and downstream industries; describes the main food and agriculture outputs and markets; and reviews trends in agricultural productivity and sustainability.

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