Diversified Agriculture

Diversified and value-added agriculture are secondary agricultural uses that re-allocate of some of a farm's productive resources, such as land, capital, farm equipment and paid labour into new activities.

This can include new crops or livestock products, food processing, energy production, aggregate extraction, eco and agri-tourism, provision of services to other farmers and non-farming activities such as restaurants and shops.

Benefits of Diversification

The benefits of farm diversification include:

  • More stable or increased farm income
  • More efficient use of land; machinery, buildings or labour
  • Reduced need for off-farm work
  • Opportunities for future growth

Diversification Process

Successful diversification projects are the result of careful planning. They make use of existing interests, skills and resources on the farm. To develop a diversification project, consider the following steps:

  • Analyze personal and family skills and interests
  • Analyze available resources such as:
    • time
    • land
    • labour
    • equipment
    • facilities, and
    • capital 
  • Develop a business plan including:
    • goals and objectives
    • human resources plan
    • financial plan
    • production plan, and
    • marketing plan
  • Implement the plan

Examples of Diversification

Many diversification projects are the result of unusual ideas which have potential for growth. Examples of diversified and value-added agriculture include:

  • Biodiesel
  • New irrigated crops of the future
  • Anaerobic digesters
  • Specialty cosmetics
  • Commercial greenhouse
  • Woody plant production
  • Saskatoons
  • Mushrooms
  • Rhubarb
  • Hemp
  • Bedding plants
  • Beekeeping
  • Tree nursery


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