Energizing Agricultural Transformation
Agriculture and agri-food continue to ‘feed’ the Canadian economy. In 2018, it contributed over $110 Billion to the GDP, making Canada one of the top ag producers in the world. Alberta Southwest Regional Alliance (AlbertaSW) recognizes that while agriculture is a known economic engine relatively little is known about what categories of agriculture and agri-food exist in the southwest quadrant of the province. With an eye on the future, the AlbertaSW executive wants to determine if there are ways to support existing agri-business while exploring new innovative agricultural trends and trade opportunities.
The Energizing Agricultural Transformation project has three phases and is estimated to be completed mid-2020:
Phase 1: Ag Industry Inventory
Research and gather information to create a regional agriculture and agri-food snapshot. At a minimum, include answers to the following questions:
Who is growing what? Categories of crops, food processors, markets, etc.
What capacity are they at? Do they wish to expand?
Where are the stated challenges and opportunities in the region?
Are succession plans in place?
Who has a future focused on innovation?
Who needs/wants assistance?
The research will focus primarily on input companies such as farmers, ranchers, agri-food processing companies, ag industry support services and to a degree, retailers providing market access to local growers/farmers.
Phase 2: Make a Tactical Plan
From the research findings in Phase 1, develop a short tactical plan that mitigates gaps and harvests opportunities:
What we Heard – a summary of who wants to grow, who needs assistance, regional trends, etc.
Matchmaking of resources to agri-business
Summary of capacity and capability for expansion
Phase 3: Capacity-building
Implement the tactical plan to expand regional agri-businesses. Create awareness of emerging opportunities and options to address challenges along with the resources available to support both:
Three workshops to build awareness, educate and/or train
Leverage agri-business partners (academic institutions, trade organizations, etc.)
Two events. E.g., ‘Ask an Expert’ and various information sessions on topics identified during Phase 1 research
Matchmaker sessions, linking challenges and/or opportunities to known resources and support