Goz­i­tan farm­ers com­plain about lack of wa­ter re­sources, un­der­utilised land

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

A num­ber of Goz­i­tan farm­ers told Labour MEP Al­fred Sant that a lack of wa­ter for ir­ri­ga­tion and the un­der­uti­liza­tion of land are among the chal­lenges they face.

The Mal­tese MEP met the Goz­i­tan farm­ers at Ta’ Mena Es­tate in the Marsal­forn Val­ley.

They asked Dr Sant to voice their in­ter­ests and to cre­ate more aware­ness within the ap­pro­pri­ate fora in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment of their plight to be com­pet­i­tive in and pen­e­trate the Euro­pean mar­ket, a press re­lease from his of­fice said.

“The farm­ers ap­pre­ci­ated Dr Sant’s un­der­stand­ing of their prob­lems and his con­tin­ued ef­forts to ad­dress them. Dr Sant told the farm­ers that he has been fol­low­ing the Gozo dis­ad­van­taged sit­u­a­tion for over thirty years and he has al­ways stood foursquare be­hind the farm­ers in their strug­gle with the se­ri­ous and mostly per­ma­nent prob­lems that they face in their un­stinted ef­forts to sur­vive.

The farm­ers men­tioned in par­tic­u­lar the lack of wa­ter re­sources for ir­ri­ga­tion, the un­der­uti­liza­tion and dere­lic­tion of large ar­eas of land, fallen rub­ble walls and soil ero­sion, lack of fer­til­iz­ers when they could – but are not al­lowed to – prop­erly treat, man­age and use their an­i­mal waste for fer­til­iz­ing their fields, mis­matches be­tween sup­ply and de­mand and harsh, for­eign, non-level-play­ing-field com­pe­ti­tion.

Dr Sant asked the farm­ers to put for­ward their pro­pos­als in a for­mal re­port which he will fol­low up at dif­fer­ent lev­els at the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment.”

Joe Spiteri, on be­half of Ta’ Mena Es­tate, ex­pressed the con­cerns of Goz­i­tan farm­ers in­volved in the cul­ti­va­tion of vines, olives, cit­rus trees, straw­ber­ries, toma­toes and other veg­eta­bles, honey and other lo­cal prod­ucts.

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