Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

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Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)
Agriculture et Agroalimentaire Canada
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada logo.svg
Department overview
Formed 1868; 147 years ago (1868)
Jurisdiction Canada
Minister responsible Gerry Ritz
Deputy Minister responsible Andrea Lyon
Child agencies Canadian Dairy Commission
Canadian Grain Commission
Farm Credit Canada
National Farm Products Council
Research Branch

The Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food, also referred to as Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) (French: Agriculture et Agroalimentaire Canada), is the department of the government of Canada with responsibility for policies governing agriculture production, farming income, research and development, inspection, and the regulation of animals and plants. It also has responsibilities regarding rural development. It is popularly called Ag-Canada.

The current Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is Gerry Ritz. The current Deputy Minister is Andrea Lyon.

History and structure[edit]

The Department of Agriculture was responsible for healthcare in Canada, between 1867 and 1919, before the Department of Health was created on September 1, 1919.[1] In 2013, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency was moved from the Agriculture Portfolio to the Health Portfolio. [2]

Organizations for which the minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is responsible include:

Acts and Regulations[edit]

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is responsible for a number of Acts related to agriculture and food in Canada.[3]


Agriculture Agri-Food Canada Saskatoon Research Centre on the Campus of the University of Saskatchewan

As part of the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Research Branch (French: Direction générale de la recherche d'Agriculture et agroalimentaire Canada) has the mandate to propose solutions and opportunities based on science to support competitiveness and the sustainability of the agriculture and agri-food sector. It is also in the Branch's mandate to provide scientific information to inform departmental and governmental decision processes.

Under the Experimental Farm Stations Act dating back to 1886, farm stations across Canada were established. The officers of these stations had the duty of conducting research in a number of specific areas pertinent to agricultural productivity and conservation, and of making the results of such research known by publication.

Today, the Research Branch includes a national network of 20 Research Centres[4] and 2,300 employees, including some 500 research scientists. Research activities focus on seven national priorities,[5] including the enhancement of:

  • Human health and wellness through food, nutrition and innovative products;
  • The quality of food and the safety of the food system;
  • The security and protection of the food supply;
  • Economic benefits throughout the value chain from producers to consumers;
  • The environmental performance of the Canadian agricultural system;
  • Knowledge of Canadian bioresources and the protection and conservation of genetic diversity;
  • New opportunities for agriculture from bioresources.

Industry Support[edit]

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is also responsible for supporting corporate and local agricultural producers and suppliers. They do this through a variety of programs and services including Agri-Geomatics which develops products and services for internal and external users, and program facilitation.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]