Canada will require 30,000 immigrants to replace retiring farmers

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replace retiring farmers

The Canadian farming industry is facing a significant challenge – approximately 40% of farmers in Canada are expected to retire within the next ten years and Canada will require to replace retiring farmers, with 66 percent of them needing a succession plan. This means the country will soon face a shortage of farmers, which could seriously impact the economy and food security in the long run. 

To address this challenge, a proposal has been made to update Canada’s immigration programs and allow 30,000 new immigrants to focus on farming. The agriculture industry is also expected to see a decrease of 24,000 workers engaged in farming, nursery, and greenhouse activities.


Despite having one of the most diverse agricultural industries in the world, each region and operation has a drastically different level of demand for foreign labor.

Higher-skilled farm operators from countries like India, the Netherlands, China, the US, and the UK have long been welcomed in Canada.

The Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) program, which remains a crucial source of low-skilled labor, is just a short-term solution to a persistent challenge, the report stated, therefore new rules are required in the case of immigration of low-skilled migrants.


Co-author of the report and director of the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph, Evan Fraser, Said;

“We’re talking about completely new types of agriculture, such as the explosion of the greenhouse industry and the emergence of the vertical farming industry.”

According to a CBC News report, Canada started an agriculture-specific immigration pilot program in 2020 to provide non-seasonal workers with expertise with a road to permanent residency. The initiative will end in May 2023.

In the province of Ottawa, more than 1,500 individuals had been admitted as of February 2023.


Canada Agri-food Pilot Program (AFP)

The Agri-food Pilot Program Program (AFP) is an economic pilot program created to help fill the labor shortage in the Canadian agri-food sector, particularly in the year-round production of mushrooms and greenhouse crops, meat processing, and livestock raising, as well as to draw in experienced, non-seasonal workers who can settle in Canada.  To be eligible to apply for the AFP Program, foreign nationals must have a job offer in a qualifying occupation and industry combination and also meet the minimum requirements for language ability, education, work experience, immigration status (if applicable), and settlement funds (if required).


Agri-Food Immigration Pilot: Eligibility Requirements

To be taken into consideration for Canadian permanent residency under the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot (AFP), applicants must satisfy the following requirements.

  • 12 months of non-seasonal, full-time employment in Canada in one of the approved occupations under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
  • a level 4 in either English or French on the Canadian Language Benchmark.
  • the equivalent of a high school degree or greater.
  • an indeterminate job offer for full-time, non-seasonal work in Canada, outside of Quebec, at or above the prevailing wage.

We can help you if you want to be a farm owner or looking to immigrate to Canada as a farm worker. 


Want to know more details about “Canada will require 30,000 immigrants to replace retiring farmers” you can contact one of our immigration specialists at  Gunness & Associates.


Tel: (416) 604-2669 



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