Liberals tout local agriculture

Steve
Steve Bartlett
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Liberal Kevin Aylward speaks with farmers Kristopher Fudge and Chris Oram in Wooddale Saturday morning. Photo by Steve Bartlett/The Telegram

The Liberals are pegging agriculture as a growth industry this election.

The party's bus rolled into Wooddale this morning where leader Kevin Aylward and candidate Merv Wiseman promoted their farming policy.

Wiseman is a former head of the provincial federation of agriculture.

Included in the Grit plan are a farm loan board, a northern berry centre of excellence, and a food security strategy.

Wiseman said over 90 per cent of the province's food is imported and there is only a four day supply of produce kept here.

He expressed concern about what would happen if shipping was disrupted.

"We will bring our food security in line with where it should be in this province," Wiseman said, standing in a carrot field.

Aylward noted agriculture's potential to provide jobs and economic development as well.

"It's time for us to focus on other things but the oil industry, which is doing us well but it's not long term in the sense of non-renewability," he said.

"We've got to get back to rural Newfoundland and Labrador and industries that can grow and employ our people."

Geographic location: Wooddale, Newfoundland and Labrador

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  • What a Load
    September 25, 2011 - 18:07

    What hogwash. Aylward was agriculture minister when his boys were in power years ago and what did he do, that's right, nothing. In fact, we had a farm loan board before and, wait for it, Aylward and his Liberals got rid of it. Now he's got that Wiseman fellow with him, the man cut from the same cloth as Brad Cabana. It wasn't that long ago that Merv was running for Harper's Conservatives during the ABC days. Not only did he not win but the Federation of Agriculture dumped him shortly afterwards. As for the four day food supply, that's pure BS. I'd like to see the report where it says there's a four day supply of produce but I won't hold my breath. I got more than 4 days of produce in my fridge.

  • Will
    September 25, 2011 - 08:08

    I don't put much stalk in what Aylward has to say. All the Brine Tobin cocktail party circuit money can't buy this election for him. He won't even get his own seat.

  • Cyril Rogers
    September 24, 2011 - 23:09

    We ignore the food supply issue at our peril but we have been conditioned to shop with a Walmart mentality. Looking for the best bargains often means not supporting your local business and eventually the loss of any local businesses. I understand why we all do it but believe we need to think local, especially when it comes to food products. By doing so, we can usually get a fresher less commerically-produced product that is better for us and better for local economies. The world food supply is laced with all kinds of fertilizers and chemicals of questionable health benefits, so why not consider supporting our farmers and fishermen whenever possible. It should be government policy to encourage and support locally-grown produce, with marketing arms that keep consumers aware of the benefits and products.