Human societies that lack economic equity and social justice are inherently unstable, and thus are not sustainable over time. The goal of a sustainable agriculture, is quite simple, no society wants an unsustainable agriculture. Sustainable agriculture systems must be economically viable, ecologically sound, socially responsible and these factors are inseparable. Society must find ways to provide economic incentives for individuals to act in ways consistent with long run societal interests. Farmers need economic incentives, freedoms, and mobility to adopt ecologically sound systems of farming. A healthy agro-ecosystem tends to be a productive and profitable agro-ecosystem.
A Sustainable Agricultural Land Base In British Columbia Forever.
1. To protect the interest and agricultural integrity of the family farm unit.
To help foster a relationship between family farm succession, and the development and apprenticeship of new entrants in the agri-food sector”
To support entrepreneurial development in agri-business, eco-tourism, value-added agriculture product production and agri-tourism.
To fully insure the environmental stewardship and conservation of British Columbia’s vast agricultural land base for future generations to come.
Democratic Reform BC has a six point plan to revitalize the BC agriculture industry.
DRBC will guarantee an annual provincial agricultural budget for the agri-food sector, at par with the Canadian average return as a percentage of agriculture gross domestic product. Current Canadian average of GDP is 16 percent, producing a forecast 2005 Provincial Agriculture Budget of $538 Million.
DRBC will re-define the current definition of primary agriculture production and use. This includes expanding the agricultural PST exemptions to include the purchase of all agricultural packing materials and containers.
To DRBC will ensure BC fully participates in all Federal agricultural frameworks and environmental initiatives, and provincially review and administer all Canadian agricultural risk management programs such as the Canadian Agricultural Income Stabilization Program.
DRBC will table a renewal plan to provide a sustainable crop insurance system in British Columbia, based on full production guarantees and insurable values that reflect the unique diversity of British Columbia’s agri-food sector.
DRBC will reform the Agricultural Land Reserve system to more effectively conserve agricultural land and bring underutitlized farmland into production. A provincial agricultural land conservation authority would work with elected local governments to encourage agricultural development in exclusive agricultural development zones.
DRBC will establish a new provincial authority to administer and protect agricultural water use. ARDA: “Agricultural Regional Development Authority” will provide interest free, long-term provincial loans to fund water supply and water purification infrastructure projects to local governments, First Nations, and water districts.
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