Sunday, May 10, 2020

Will Canada’s farmers still be the producers of tomorrow?

(NC) Food production will undergo massive change over the next decade. The industry is seeing unprecedented opportunities from new technologies and more efficient processes. At the same time, this new generation of farming will require a different set of skills to address the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
“Canada needs to pursue an ambitious skills agenda in order to become a more efficient, sustainable and competitive global leader in agriculture,” says Ryan Riese, national director, agriculture at RBC. “That’s why education and training need to adapt to meet the needs of this industry transformation.”
The new RBC Farmer 4.0 Report identifies five types of talent and new skills that will be needed in order to achieve that goal.
The decider. These entrepreneurs operate all sizes of business and are the backbone of the agriculture sector. As operations become larger and more complex, they will need a combination of leadership and digital expertise to succeed in the transition.
The enabler. These are the skilled technicians who supply, service and program the machinery and equipment that enable farms to function. The growing shift to automation is generating a demand for enablers with a combination of skills in software, critical thinking and people management. 
The specialist. Specialists range from plant scientists and livestock managers to regulatory experts. Technical know-how will be critical in keeping pace with change and a global demand for clean, sustainably produced food – from data analytics and precision agriculture, to blockchain and artificial intelligence.
The doer. Many of the farm labourers who can do the “heavy lifting” are projected to be replaced by automation over the longer time. However, there will continue to be a demand for jobs that require judgment, fine dexterity and digital skills, which will create opportunities for retraining.
The advisor. As markets expand and operations become more complex, agronomists and financial advisors with deep data-driven expertise will be needed more than ever. They will play a key role in helping farmers make critical decisions on everything from capital allocation to business expansion and export strategies.
Find more information at

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