Recent Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) research states that 40% of farmers in Canada are anticipated to retire within the next ten years while 66% percent of farmers do not have any succession plan for the coming years. To address farmer shortage Canada’s immigration policies permit 30,000 new immigrants with a concentration on agriculture and farmers in order to address the scarcity of farmers.
This would result in a major shortage of farmers in Canada because, At the same time, 24,000 individuals who work in farming, nurseries, and greenhouses also will likely lose their jobs in the agriculture sector.
To deal with labor shortages in the agricultural industry, the federal government promised to launch an Agri-Food Pilot program in the 2019 budget. Early in 2020, the three-year experiment is expected to accept fresh applications. The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) aimed at accommodating up to 2,750 individuals, but it will come to an end in May of this year. According to the government, over 1,500 individuals have already been admitted to the program as of February 2023.
Date extension for the programe
The program’s possibility of being continued after its current expiration date is being evaluated by the government.
Giving migrants permanent residency for Canada, according to a department official, is not the solution to the labor shortage. The spokesperson also emphasized that entry-level workers would only stay in the field if it provided competitive pay, acceptable working conditions, and long-term possibilities for them and their families.
Farmers in Canada are becoming more and more worried as borders start to close. Many others feared that without the supply of foreign employees, the entire season would be threatened. When COVID-19 first set foot in the globe in 2020, the federal government made the decision to keep permitting foreign workers to enter the country and to prolong the program’s expiration date from March to May 2023.
However, due to the fact that 40% of its farmers will be retiring in the next ten years, Canada is currently faced with severe economic issues that put its agriculture in danger. Canada declares at the beginning of this program that agriculture is a legacy industry. Immigrants will probably continue to be welcomed by the agri-food trial program if Canada wants to maintain their legacy industry. This can be an opportunity for many agriculture workers and especially Indian farmers who seek better opportunities in fieldwork.
The report states that The Canadian agri-food industry has labor shortages, which are addressed in part by the Agri-Food Pilot.
For agricultural workers or farmers in Canada, the Agri-Food pilot program offers a route to permanent residency in Canada. Workers have had to rely on temporary, seasonal work permits to find employment in recent years due to labor shortages in Canada’s agriculture and agri-food industries. By providing a route to Canadian permanent residence, which would allow workers and their families to live and work in Canada for as long as they like, the pilot program hopes to draw in and keep people. Worldwide agriculture employers participating in this program will be eligible for a 2-year LMIA in Canada.
Eligibility to participate in the Agri-food pilot program
To be eligible, candidates must meet the following requirements to apply for permanent residence under the Agri-Food Pilot:
- Contain experience working in one or more qualified Canadian businesses or professions’ minimum of one full-time, non-seasonal year’s worth of work (at least 1,560 hours) in the previous three years.
- Obtain a job offer for a full-time, permanent position from a Canadian company in one of the permitted fields or professions (outside of Quebec)
- Have the Canadian language benchmark (CLB) level 4 in English or French skills
- An educational credential assessment (ECA) report from a recognized organization or professional body demonstrating that you completed a foreign credential at the secondary school level or above should be included when calculating the number of hours spent in full-time positions.
- Have enough money set aside for settlement (demonstrate that you have enough money to sustain yourself and any other family members.)
- If you are already a resident of Canada, you must keep that status.
Farmer/ candidate can file their Canada PR Visa application with IRCC if fulfill all the above-specified requirements. For applying they must compile an exhaustive application as per the application guide and forms specified on the official webpage of the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot.