National's drought of ideas won't help farmers facing climate change

Christopher Luxon and the National Party have once again presented another lazy, back-of-the-napkin policy to Aotearoa.

“Today’s agriculture announcement is a grab bag of one liners that will not do what’s needed to have a thriving and sustainable farming sector that is good for farmers, good for communities, and good for the planet,” says Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“We need a resilient and diverse agricultural sector that benefits the environment, people and rural communities. That requires a shift away from agricultural intensification and intensive dairying which pollutes our waterways and compromises the climate.

“This means supporting farmers to change their on-farm practices to implement regenerative techniques, phase out synthetic fertiliser use, reduce herd sizes and end the use of PKE as a supplementary feed.

“Agriculture is Aotearoa’s largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions. Anything less than urgent action to cut climate pollution, while supporting farmers, will not be sufficient.

“Instead, National have cobbled together ad-hoc, second-rate policies that provide little for the environment or people. The ‘policy’ of removing two regulations for every new regulation is ideological nonsense that shows why National is ill equipped to be in Government.

“Banning overseas purchases of farmland for carbon farming is at odds with National’s track record while in Government. It had a very permissive approach to overseas interests buying New Zealand farmland. One of the first things the Greens and Labour did last term was to tighten the controls on the sale of farmland to overseas interests.

“Shifting to regenerative farming reduces the stress on nature, people, and the climate and can be done while increasing profitability.

“Sustainable agriculture requires effective regulation and putting a price on agriculture’s emissions. We want diverse land use and food and fibre production at levels that safeguard nature and the climate, not agriculture which maximises production by exceeding environmental limits,” says Eugenie Sage.

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