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Gozo farmers encourged to change to organic methods

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Gozo farmers encourged to change to organic methodsThe Malta Standards Authority, this morning convened a group of Gozitan farmers and growers to give them information about the benefits of organic farming.

The meeting was held at the Victoria Local Council and was addressed by the Parliamentary Secretary, Chris Said and the Chairman of MSA, Francis E. Farrugia. Both stressed that organic farming practices help to meet targets set by eco-Gozo as part of Vision 2015.

Gozo already has five farmers practicing organic farming and two processors of organic products. In Malta there are 15 farmers certified to process organic produce and together they work 22 hectares of land and grow 20 tonnes of organic products a year. This means that in Malta, the land used for the production of organic products has increased by approximately 33 percent over the last five years.

Certification issued by the Malta Standards Authority establishes that the organic products grown or processed by farmers comply with European regulations. The current products in the market place include all types of vegetables, fruits, spices, olive oil, syrup and sauces. The scheme of certification for organic farming was introduced into Malta in December 2004 and is based on regulation (EC) No 834.2007 of the Council of Ministers of the European Union. This Regulation specifies the methods to be used in the practice of organic farming.

Chris Said went on to explain the existing European funded schemes that encourage farmers and villagers who want to switch from traditional to organic farming methods. One of these schemes, involving a fund of 1.2 million euros, is used to help farmers switch to organic farming, other schemes, are designed to help farmers and processors of organic products become more competitive and invest in modern equipment. During the meeting, farmers were also briefed on the correct use of pesticides. The MSA informed the group that they make regular inspections to determine whether farmers are using pesticides at a higher level than the regulations specify.

During 2009 MSA carried out 576 inspections to 46 different growers. Up until May, 379 products were inspectioned from 29 farmers..

At the end of the meeting the Parliamentary Secretary, Chris Said, visited the Magro Brothers factory at the Xewkija Industrial Estate, where a certificate was presented to the company owner, John Magro, for the processing of organic farming products.

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    4 Responses

    1. J.Portelli says:

      And what about the Nadur Farmers – organic fruit and vegetables for them?

      How nice will it be if Minister Chris Said Stopped that development down Ramla Road, then the farmers can go on with their organic farming…..Ghajn Qasab Vally has always been organic with its pristine waters.

    2. Ralph Wood says:

      For the best organic products the farmer needs clear and clean water, every drop is this precious, pure and clean ground water is utilized in turn by farmers who till the agricultural lands through which it passes. Without this constant and reliable source of water, their fields would become barren and useless.

      It is time that Secretary Chris Said did some thing for the Nadur farmers, for instance revoke that permit of the Nadur cemetery, you have the power to revoke such a permit as when this permit was granted you were the Mayor of Nadur and happy with it .

    3. Joe Grech says:

      Even if the area of the cemetery is sealed temporarily., rain water collecting in the graves will have to overflow or be pumped out into the street, since no public sewer exist in the area and none shall be formed considering that this area is far beyond the Limit to Development, while no sewage outfall exists in the locality.

      All this sewage from the Cemetery will finish down the coastline of Ramla l Hamra .

    4. Mario says:

      The Nadur cemetry saga all happened when Dr Chris Said was a Mayor. Why didn’t he OBJECT to put it somewhere else where it wasn’t going to disturb the natural spring further down below.

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