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Organics can feed the world, but National silent

Organics can feed the world, but National silent

The Green Party is calling for the New Zealand farming sector to take note of a new United Nations report (1) which shows that organic production in Africa can increase yields while protecting soils and the environment.

And the Greens are calling on the National Party in particular to get its head out of the sand on organics after their agricultural policy released today had nothing about organics in it.

Green Party Co-Leader and Agriculture Spokesperson Dr Russel Norman says: "Far from being a new-age fad, organic farming has shown itself to be a superior way of producing crops. Whereas the Africans are starting to clean up their farming pollution and waste, New Zealand is currently increasing both its greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution, mainly due to unsafe farming practices.

"I know that the National Party likes to portray the Greens as being idealists who are out of touch with reality. I think it's the National Party who is out of touch with reality with their industrialist approach to food production. The reality is that our economy relies on the environment and that short-term economic gains from unsafe farming practises are certain to come back and haunt us.

"There is no real conflict between green farming methods and economics. In fact our best hope for future prosperity is to treat our land as the precious source of our national wealth, instead of seeing the land as a cash cow, to be force-fed and milked until it drops dead from exhaustion.

"We recently had a report from the regional council of one of our most important farming regions, the Waikato, which shows widespread soil contamination with cadmium due to phosphate fertilisers and most pastoral rivers so polluted they are unsafe even for stock to drink from. We are destroying our soils and water supplies which are the very foundation of our economy.

"The National Party is a dinosaur when it comes to sustainable food production, and while Labour isn't great, we did manage to twist their arm and get them to fund the Organics Advisory Service as part of a Green Party budget bid.

"Any farmer who thinks National will protect them is kidding themselves. National is the representative of Federated Farmers and agribusiness, not the family farmer who wants to look after the land."

1. Click here for more.

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