Agricultural Growth Act reaches Second Reading
Key milestone for agriculture sector to stay competitive and meet global food demand

March 3, 2014, Ottawa: Canada's farming industry is one step closer to gaining a broad suite of new tools that will help them remain competitive in the global marketplace and grow their markets at home. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz spoke to the benefits of the Agricultural Growth Act at Second Reading in the House of Commons today. This signifies a key milestone for Canada's agriculture sector by improving access to the latest farming technologies and modernizing our legislation.

The Agricultural Growth Act will modernize nine statutes that regulate Canada's agriculture sector. Some of the key improvements include stronger intellectual property rights for plant varieties, which will enhance farmers' access to new varieties, and making farmer payment programs simpler, faster and more flexible. Entrenched in the Act is the right of farmers to save, condition and replant seed that is personally saved from crops grown on their own land.

The Act was first introduced on December 9, 2013.

Quick Facts

  • Today’s farmer feeds more than 120 people on the same land base as it used to take to feed 10 people a century ago.
  • The global population is expected to reach 9.3 billion by 2050. It has been forecast that global food production must increase by 60 per cent to meet future demand.
  • Since 1992, there have been 4691 varieties protected under Plant Breeders' Rights in Canada, covering over 330 crops.
  • Exports account for 85 per cent of sales for Canadian farmers.


This Act bolsters our agriculture sector and ensures a consistent regulatory approach across all commodities. The end result will be greater efficiencies for Canada’s agricultural sector, which creates jobs and economic growth across the country.

The Honourable Gerry Ritz
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

The proposed changes reflect a number of recommendations made by industry over the years and showcase the government has been listening. We're pleased the government has taken action and followed-up in a concrete way with legislative changes and formal consultations on these proposed amendments. The bill is ambitious and takes on several issues that will increase access to important programs for farmers and will result in cost savings for administrators and farms.

Ron Bonnett,
President, Canadian Federation of Agriculture

As farms work to match production with the growing global population it becomes increasingly important that they have the tools needed to continue to increase production. New varieties are an important segment of this growth. Ensuring that our plant breeders’ rights are aligned with our global trading partners is imperative.

Keith Kuhl,
President of the Canadian Horticultural Council

Associated Links


Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Jeff English
Director of Communications
The Office of Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture

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