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Canada facing farm labour gap

Staff Writer |
Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst, executive director at the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council, notes that the vacancy rate on farms in Canada is closing in on 10 percent.

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“The national average for other industries is only 1.8 percent, so the industry is really being constrained and challenged by its inability to fill those vacant positions.”

A 2016 report published by the council warns the situation will only get worse. The organization predicts the agricultural labour gap will double by the year 2025, leaving an estimated 113,800 positions unfilled by the Canadian agro labour market.

According to an article by, in its most recent budget, the federal government set a target of $75 billion in agricultural sales by 2025, which will not be possible unless labour shortages in both primary agricultural production and processing are addressed.

That means officials should be taking a long, hard look at the reasons why Canadians aren’t choosing farm work.

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