WOLFVILLE, N.S. - The leader of the NDP in Nova Scotia says he would develop a 10-year agriculture strategy that would try to reinvigorate the struggling industry.
Darrell Dexter said Saturday that the plan would cost $900,000 and focus on helping farmers expand their businesses and develop new export markets.
The leader, campaigning in the province's agriculture heartland in the run-up to the June 9 vote, said the sector has long been ignored by the governing Tories.
''This should not be treated as a sunset industry,'' he said in Wolfville. ''Agriculture is a positive economic, social and environmental force.''
Dexter said he would devote several staff members in the government communications department to marketing the province's agricultural products both abroad and at home.
He would also fund farm research at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College to help identify new opportunities, such as organic farming ventures.
And the strategy would help farmers improve their soils, increase crop yields and decrease fertilizer costs.
''The NDP's 10-year farm strategy will help farmers become more productive and profitable, and establish a vision for the industry,'' he said.
Dexter said small and medium-sized farms need help because of a lack of direction from the minority Tories.
The party said it will develop the strategy in consultation with people in the industry.