With direct access to a strong agricultural base, Calgary and Southern Alberta is a well-connected region with clear collaboration across geographic areas, industries, and research and training institutions. We have experts in all things Ag – including primary production, protein development, agtech innovation, animal health, and food safety and traceability, making this region a hotspot for Canadian and global food and technology suppliers.

Proximity to agricultural base

Southern Alberta has historically been an agricultural area, with large-scale production of acreage crops, protein crops, livestock, and greenhouses. The region has ample access to water and enjoys a sunny climate, favourable to growing. Farm land area in Alberta amounts to 50,350,183 acres, covering about one-third of the province. This is even more concentrated in the Calgary and Southern Alberta region. When looking specifically at Southern Alberta, the region boasts some of Alberta’s best growing land, including almost 70% of Canada’s total irrigated area. Irrigated land in a dry province such as Alberta allows for a greater variety of crops to be grown, diversifying our potential exports from wheat, oats, and pulse crops to include vegetables and some fruits. In 2018, Alberta’s agrifood exports represented 19.3% of Canada’s total agrifood exports, at $11.2 billion.

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2020 Agribusiness Market Study

See why Calgary is the engine of the agriculture industry and what’s driving the region’s agribusiness ecosystem.

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Agri-tech

Agri-tech is the use of technology in agriculture, horticulture, and aquaculture, with the aim of improving yield, quality, efficiency, and profitability. Alberta has one of the world’s most productive agricultural economies and with the growing tech influence of Calgary, the opportunities for agri-tech are growing rapidly. 

Precision agriculture

Precision agriculture is the future for the industry, and Alberta farmers and manufacturers are adopting technologies to grow new crops and significantly improve their products and processes. With a growth projection of 13% year-over-year, Calgary’s agribusiness sector is forecasted to invest $246 million in digital transformation by 2024.

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High-tech learning

The Werklund School of Agriculture Technology will give students access to hands on, high-tech learning experiences through the Olds College Smart Farm. The Smart Ag Innovation Centre and the new agri-tech learning hub is scheduled to open in fall 2022. The School will offer students new agri-tech programs, including the Precision Agriculture – Techgronomy Diploma and Agriculture Technology Integration Post-Diploma Certificate.

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Value-added processing

The Government of Alberta is building the value-added agriculture processing capacity to bolster economic activity with an aggressive private investment attraction target of $1.4 billion.

A solid reputation

Alberta has a reputation for high-quality, safe food and beverage products. The food processing industry is highly regulated, ensuring common standards of quality and safety. Alberta is known for its ag commodities including grain, pulses and livestock, but also produces key products including ready-to-eat packaged food and beverages, food products and ingredients, and some emerging niche and premium products.

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The Calgary advantage

Food manufacturing is the largest manufacturing sector in Alberta. With expertise in value-added food processing, multinationals, medium-sized and niche food and beverage processing and manufacturing, companies are choosing to locate in Calgary.

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Calgary is an opportunity-rich city

Our interactive investment map highlights the foreign direct investment (FDI) that has taken place in the Calgary area over the past six years.

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Investing in digital transformation

It is projected Alberta’s agribusiness sector will spend $684 million on digital transformation (DX) by 2024, a 13% year-over-year growth projection. See how agribusiness is leading digital transformation on our DX spend dashboard.

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staff+Lindsay Smylie
Lindsay Smylie

Business Development Manager, Agribusiness

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