China and India figure prominently into the discussion about the future of Canadian agriculture. Although China has received a lot of attention over many years, India has become a huge market, particularly for Saskatchewan peas and lentils. Thus, the just-concluded Saskatchewan trade mission to India. The economy of China is roughly four times larger than India’s. And India is a poorer country. But many analysts are betting on India to surpass China in the years ahead and they give two main reasons – demographics and the political system. China’s one-child policy curbed population growth, but it’s going to mean a high dependency ratio. In other words, in ten to 20 years, there will be a high proportion of retired citizens being supported by a relatively small number of working-age people. India won’t have that problem. They have lots of people in the younger age categories. As well, over time, many analysts believe that having a stronger private sector in India will allow that country to grow more rapidly than the central-planning model employed within China. The growth of these emerging economic titans is one of the key reasons for believing in a bright future for agriculture.
I’m Kevin Hursh.