The province of Alberta is launching a new tax credit program for agricultural processing, with the intention of attracting investment in the growing sector, creating jobs and diversifying its economy. 

The Alberta Agri-Processing Investment Tax Credit will be available to the agricultural industry by the spring, according to a news release from Alberta’s provincial government on Tuesday. The province said the new tax credit attempts to capitalize on growing global demand for processed and packaged food. 

“Alberta has the fundamentals to take our value-added agriculture industry to new heights and meet the increasing global demand for food,” Alberta’s Agriculture and Irrigation Minister Nate Horner said in the release. 

Food was the largest manufacturing industry in the province in 2021, the release said, accounting for 23.8 per cent of manufacturing sales during that year. 

“The new agri-processing tax credit will ensure we have the most effective toolkit to attract large-scale agri-food projects that will help grow our industry, create jobs and ignite economic growth,” Horner said.                                                                       

Through the Alberta Agri-Processing Investment Tax Credit, the release said eligible companies that make a minimum capital investment of $10 million into agricultural processing will receive a 12 per cent non-refundable tax credit. 

“By offering a 12 per cent tax credit to agri-food processors making a minimum investment of $10 million, Alberta is maintaining its status as a top destination for value-added agricultural projects,” John Heimbecker, the owner of Winnipeg-based grain company Parrish and Heimbecker Ltd., said in the release. 

Food manufacturing sales reached a record $20.1 billion in 2021, hitting while the sector provided 22,400 jobs to Albertans, according to the release.