Northern Ireland Election 2016

NI election issues guide: Agriculture

Northern Ireland goes to the polls on 5 May to elect a new assembly. Browse the parties' key agriculture priorities below.

  • Continue to implement 'Going for Growth' - the strategic action plan for agri-food
  • Comprehensively review the range of lending opportunities available to agricultural businesses and work with the banking sector to reduce the costs of accessing finance
  • Promote Northern Ireland's food and drink to other parts of the world by identifying new export markets. This can be achieved by adequately marketing Northern Ireland produce
  • Assist farmers and fishermen to work co-operatively to market produce together in order to get the best market price
  • Work with the agricultural industry to implement recommendations arising from 'Going for Growth'
  • Look at alternative finance models, including finance from the European Investment Bank, which allow existing businesses that are highly leveraged to survive and continue to sustainably grow
  • Support the introduction of a farm business investment scheme and a marketing body to promote food from Northern Ireland
  • We want the next rural development programme to target rural businesses who are helping to create jobs in rural areas - funding directly to businesses or infrastructure that will help develop and grow new rural businesses
  • Encourage organic farming
  • Introduce an independent Environmental Protection Agency
  • Take action to address alarming decline of bees by applying precautionary principle to use of pesticides
  • Reduce food waste by introducing regulations requiring surplus food from supermarkets to be offered to food banks
  • Ensure the agricultural industry retains benefits of EU membership
  • Deliver the Farm Business Improvement Scheme
  • Secure new markets for agri-food products
  • Support all-Ireland food labelling
  • Support the industry with policies that seek to cut energy costs, encourage skills development and competitively promote the north's food and drink sector
  • Create a Northern Ireland food strategy and marketing board similar to Bord Bia in the Republic of Ireland and Scotland Food and Drink
  • Seek to develop a one island product label that recognises Ireland as a unique region within Europe and unique produce of quality.
  • Greater recognition of Northern Ireland's food produce will help bolster both farming and agri-food export sectors. Expand protected geographical indication status to other Irish food products from this part of the island
  • Farming and agri-food sectors are key to the Northern Ireland economy, being the biggest contributor to sales, exports and employment within the manufacturing sector
  • Obtain greater stability in farm gate prices is key to success, with processors, banks and government all having to play their part. Radical thinking should not be eschewed. Getting out of EU would be liberating
  • Given the centrality of agriculture, it is inconceivable that there would not be a national agricultural support scheme as required
  • Our fishing industry, once so prosperous, is in the doldrums. British waters for British fishermen is our goal. This can only be achieved outside the EU
  • Ensure farmers receive a fairer share of the price paid for their produce in supermarkets
  • Promote agriculture as a sustainable career for young people
  • Improve cooperation between the NI Environment Agency and the agri-food industry
  • Reduce levels of complex and unnecessary bureaucracy
  • UKIP will stand up to Brussels, Westminster and Stormont in the best interests of our agriculture and fishing industries
  • UKIP are confident that no farmers or fisherman will be worse off when the UK leaves the EU
  • Fight to protect both farming and fishing industries and maintain them both to the fore in economic investment
  • Maintain that our agri-food products are world best and, by any measure, evidence of a deserved major local success story

Click or tap below to read more:






Key priorities

Law and order

Local government

Sports and arts



Parties listed alphabetically