Nature Trust – FEE Malta is calling for more sustainable farming processes and the protection of the agricultural industry.
The body believes that there is ‘clear evidence’ that the current promotion of rural development strategies and campaigns which are launched to support farmers ‘are falling short of the mark.’
They also state that current Rural Policy Design Guidelines, ‘are in dire need of being revisited and should be shored up to serve their proper purpose, since their original raison d’être, i.e. saving dilapidated farms for the benefit of the farming community, has been forgotten.’
This they believe has been used as an excuse speculators looking to develop what is seen as useless land to ‘erect yet more building complete with pools, marring our countryside for the benefit of the rich and unscrupulous few.’
Their comments come in response to those made by Mr Malcolm Borg, one of the founders of the recently created agricultural NGO Għaqda Bdiewa Attivi.
In his interview to the Times of Malta, Borg speaks about the decline of the agricultural sector in Malta and the statistics from the associated ministry which highlight that around 70% of ‘farming land is unused.’
Nature Trust – FEE Malta says that the land is not ‘unused’ and rather the land and soil offers both a natural habitat for fauna like hedgehogs and lizards as well as key barriers to preventing flooding and water runoff.
However, they recognise that the perception of the land as being unused, made it easier for the land to excuse developing the land.