Voters are likely to have the final say on a proposal by the country's main farmers organisations to boost local food production in Switzerland in the face of growing global demand for food and pressures on production.
The Swiss Farmers Associationexternal link on Tuesday handed in about 150,000 signatures for their initiative for better “Food Security”.
The campaigners, who came to the capital, Bern, from all parts of Switzerland, are calling for the authorities to improve the supply of locally grown foodstuffs via “sustainable and diversified sources”.
The association’s director, Jacques Bourgeois, said the initiative aimed to anticipate and help better control international and national developments.
“The objective is to ensure the Swiss population’s long-term supply of local foodstuffs, by improving the state of farmland and agricultural production,” he said.
According to the group, the issue has widespread support among the population. They claim this was the fastest collection of signatures in the past 20 years, taking just three months while the deadline for the minimum 100,000 signatures was August 2015.
Parliament and the government are due to discuss the initiative before a date is set for a nationwide ballot on the issue, which would be in three to four years at the earliest.
swissinfo.ch and agencies