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Advancing women in agriculture

28 March 2018, at 12:00am

The Government of Canada recognises the important role women play in the agriculture and agri-food sector, as well as the Canadian economy at large

This is why Budget 2018 launched the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy to better support women entrepreneurs, to help them grow their businesses and to remove barriers to their success.

Yesterday, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, and his wife, Frances MacAulay, attended the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference in Calgary, where they spoke to participants about their experiences as dairy and potato farmers, and the importance of leadership roles for women in agriculture. Minister MacAulay emphasised the Government of Canada's ongoing commitment to helping women build capacity in the agriculture and agri-food sector.

The Minister also took the opportunity to highlight the Canadian Agricultural Partnership's AgriDiversity program, a new federal program to be launched on April 1, 2018, as well as a number of steps taken in Budget 2018 to support women in agriculture.

The Minister spoke of the contribution of women in the agricultural industry:

It was an honour to be able to attend this conference with my wife, Frances. Women make a vital contribution to the agriculture and agri-food sector and the Canadian economy, which is why our Government continues to support the full participation of women in science, business and other areas that are essential to growing the sector. Gender equality is not only the right thing to do for Canadians; it's the smart thing to do.

Quick facts

Budget 2018 builds on the ambitious growth agenda for agriculture set out in last year's budget, which included many significant ongoing investments to help farm families and agri-food processors excel, including the $3 billion federal-provincial-territorial Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

This year's budget launches the federal Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, which includes:

  • $1.7 billion for next generation of science researchers – part of which is targeted to increase the number of women and underrepresented groups;
  • $1.4 billion over three years in new financing for women entrepreneurs through Business Development Canada;
  • $105 million to the regional development agencies to support investments in women-led businesses;
  • $250 million, through Export Development Canada for women-owned and women-led businesses to take advantage of export opportunities;
  • $19.9 million to pilot an Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women;
  • a new lending product designed specifically for women entrepreneurs through Farm Credit Canada.

As reported by the AAFC

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