The Green Party says a strong, healthy and diverse agricultural sector is essential to an economically viable and environmentally sustainable New Zealand.
Much of the party's policy is Green boilerplate with encouraging the licensed cultivation of industrial hemp in economically depressed rural areas the most novel.
The party says its Agriculture and Rural Affairs policy is about future-proofing the economy by protecting the environment.
The Green's focus is on reducing New Zealand's agricultural dependency on oil, agri-chemicals, and imported feedstock, protecting soils and water quality.
The party is adamant that New Zealand must live up to its reputation as "Clean and Green" and an exporter of high-quality products to maintain its export reputation, And it wants the environment to be kept GE free.
Specifically, the party strongly supports mandatory country of origin labelling for all single-ingredient imported agricultural products.
It wants "food miles" to be addressed by supporting farmers to reduce emissions during production and by educating overseas consumers to shift the debate from "food miles" to "ecological footprints" and it wants more research, education and support to enable a transition away from industrialised, fossil fuel supported agriculture.
Growing the Organic Sector
?Promote the target of half of New Zealand's production becoming certified organic by 2025.
?Short-term loans and guarantees to producers making the switch to organics.
?Redirect funding for research into the development of organic systems, design and practice.
?Promote and encourage the establishment of educational opportunities in organic production.
?Promote organic agriculture to increase carbon sequestration, nutrient buffering, and healthy animal gut condition.
?The Greens also want to limit urban sprawl to prevent loss of prime agricultural land and promote and encourage diverse farm forestry and woodlots on agricultural land.
?Place the liability for any increased emissions over 1990 levels from the dairying and deer farming sectors with the large processing companies rather than individual farmers and support ways of reducing methane and nitrous oxide production.