Gozitan farmers complain about lack of water resources, underutilised land
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.