Agriculture is a critical part of our Island economy and community. The Green Party is ready to support Island farmers by reducing the cost of land and helping smaller producers get their food to market.
In its first year, a Green Government would design and establish a provincial landbank to make land available and affordable to Island farmers, as recommended in the 2013 Carver Commission report. A Green government would spend $4.5 million from 2020-2023 to acquire land for the purposes of the land bank.
“The price of land is a barrier to new farmers and those looking to expand,” said Green Party leader Peter Bevan-Baker. “A land bank reduces this barrier by making land accessible to farmers at a lower cost.”
A Green government would also implement a community food hub program. Food hubs provide the physical connections between small-scale production and a larger market; this enables small farmers to expand production and pool resources with other farmers to reach a greater production capacity and enter a larger, more stable market than they could otherwise.
As part of this plan, two food storage and distribution centres would be established: one in Borden, and another in Montague.
The food hubs would partner with existing community organizations to scale up the coordination and distribution of food products, and conduct education and community engagement initiatives.
Other Green Party agriculture commitments include:
- Using LIDAR mapping and drones to determine customised recommendations for the width of buffer zones throughout the province
- Conducting a comprehensive review of the Agricultural Crop Rotation Act to ensure the maintenance and increase of soil organic matter
- Creating a low-interest loan program to encourage small-scale solar energy installations on residential, non-profit, small business, and agricultural buildings
- Implementing regulations for organic certification on Prince Edward Island
- Maintaining the moratorium on high capacity wells for agricultural purposes
- Reviewing the Lands Protection Act to ensure all land purchases comply with not only the word but also the spirit of the Act
- Expanding reforestation and forestry management programs