Maltese authorities have launched a financial scheme that incentivizes organic production by farmers.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights Anton Refalo launched the scheme aimed at farm owners who rent their land to farmers who choose to carry out only organic production.
He explained how the owner who wants to rent the farm with a five-year contract will receive a payment of 1,174 euros (1,306 U.S. dollars) per hectare, in the first two years.
The payment is 587 euros in the first and second year, and for the following three years the owner is given a payment of 300 euros per hectare each year.
Director for Agriculture Marco Dimech explained how through this measure they are incentivizing land owners to enter into an agreement with farmers so that the land is used for the production of products with organic certification.
Ambassador for Organic and Sustainable Food Sonya Sammut emphasized how this measure is also leading to the realization of one of the actions of the National Plan for Organic Food that was launched earlier this year.
“The incentives we are offering are a very important tool because in addition to leading the farmer to have greater access to the farm, we are increasing the amount of land where we can grow food certified as organic,” said Sammut.
“In Malta in 2016, the total of agricultural areas transformed to organic farming amounted to 24 hectares. By 2020 this has risen to 66 hectares,” Refalo said, as he explained how by 2030, 5 percent of its agricultural land is solely for organic production, in line with the targets of the European Commission.
The financial scheme also aims to help in the transition to organic farming and reduce the use of chemicals, he added.
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