PC Candidate says NDP Minister’s plan shows lack of agriculture industry knowledge

September 15, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Lohr: Farmers will remember Dexter NDP negligence on Election Day

KENTVILLE, NS – John Lohr, Progressive Conservative candidate for Kings North, says the Dexter NDP’s negligence will not be forgotten by farmers whose strawberry crops were devastated by the virus that struck last month.

On August 9th, the NDP announced a plan to use the Federal Advance Payment Program to loan Annapolis Valley strawberry farmers money to plow down virus-infected crops then replant them, but Lohr, a farmer himself, says it misses the mark.

“The fields must be plowed down to cut the risk of the virus spreading across the continent,” said Lohr. “The loss of clean plant stock grown here will affect the strawberry industry across Canada and will be a huge loss for local growers.”

Lohr says the NDP’s plan is disastrous for the industry as it ignores the fact that most farmers will not plow down fields without help to shoulder the financial impact. Growers would rather risk a lower yield from infected crops than add more debt. What is needed is an incentive-based program that helps offset the cost of the lost crops.

Lohr says the Dexter NDP’s ineffective Band-Aid solutions are too little, too late. A better solution could have been reached if the Dexter NDP had taken the time to work with the stakeholders and industry.

“Farmers can no longer trust the Dexter NDP after they failed to consult and work with industry groups,” said Lohr. “Proposing ineffective solutions will not help grow the industry. It only highlights the Dexter NDP’s negligence.”

Lohr says farmers will be better off under Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie’s plan, Change that Works.

It calls for the creation of Nova Scotia’s first ever Food Strategy and ensures a fair return on farmers’ investment, crop yields and marketing by strengthening the farm investment fund. It also calls for practical agriculture research by getting more specialists and researchers out in the field working with frontline farmers.

“Jamie Baillie is promising real change for farmers in Nova Scotia,” said Lohr. “His plan will ensure our farms thrive and prosper for years to come.”