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Ontario Growing Agri-Food Sector in Northern Ontario

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Ontario Growing Agri-Food Sector in Northern Ontario

Province Helps Increase Farm Productivity and Sustainability in the North

Ontario is helping to build capacity in Northern Ontario's agri-food sector, and investing in the work of northern farmers to improve their land, diversify crops and expand their businesses.

Through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, the province is investing in 27 agriculture projects across the North, including an assessment of the North's dairy processing sector by the Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance (NOFIA). NOFIA is creating a Northern Ontario Dairy Strategy which is aimed at identifying opportunities to create new markets for the region's dairy producers.

Investing in northern agriculture is part of the government's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is investing more than $15.6 million in 27 agriculture projects through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC).
  • Since 2013, the province has invested more than $654 million through the NOHFC in over 4,000 projects, leveraging more than $2.3 billion in direct economic activity and creating or sustaining over 15,200 jobs in Northern Ontario.
  • Discover why buying Ontario food is good for you and your family, local communities and the environment.
  • Find out how the Northern Ontario Agri-Food Strategy will guide the development of agriculture, aquaculture and food processing in the North.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“The agricultural industry is a key economic driver and significant job creator in many northern communities. By investing in these projects, we are identifying new areas for growth and helping farmers across the North improve their farmland to increase crop production and revenues.”

Michael Gravelle

Minister of Northern Development and Mines and Chair of the NOHFC

“By investing in local businesses our government is supporting the economic growth of Northern Ontario while building up our province’s food and beverage processing sector. Northern Ontario’s agri food sector supports more than 4,000 jobs and contributes $230 million to our province’s economy. Our government remains committed to investing in northern agriculture and farm businesses to further increase competitiveness, create good jobs and boost local economic growth.”

Jeff Leal

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

“NOFIA is committed to working with our partners to find new ways to innovate and commercialize northern agricultural products. We commend the NOHFC for its support of our research projects such as the dairy strategy and for its ongoing investments in farm improvements across the North.”

Norm Koch

Chair of NOFIA

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