‘Gvern għan-Nies’: more young farmers are given the opportunity to access the agricultural sector
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Animal Rights Anton Refalo together and Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi visited Steve Galea, one of the beneficiaries in Naxxar who benefitted from European funds as part of the campaign ‘Gvern għan-Nies’.
Measure 6.1 of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 forms part of the strategy to strengthen this sector and provide the necessary tools for young farmers to have the opportunity to work in this sector.
Minister Anton Refalo said that “As a government, one of the most important things we are emphasising is to bring more young people into this sector. During these times of great challenges, we are realising the importance of the farming and fishing sectors and so it is vital that we continue to incentivise them with such measures which will enable us to attract more young people towards this particular sector. Farmers face several challenges and therefore it is important to have such measures for them to be able to move forward”.
Parliamentary Secretary Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi said that due to the expenses associated with this sector, including the cost of the land and its fragmentation, the difficulty in obtaining loans for this type of industry combined with the long hours and realities of the sector, have been making it very difficult for young farmers to access this industry. He explained that Steve, a young farmer who has been involved in this sector since he was young, benefitted from European funds so that now, he and his brothers took over the farm owned by his parents. Over the years he developed the skills and knowledge needed to be able to grow cows and produce quality milk.
Dr Zrinzo Azzopardi explained that “With Measure 6.1, financed with European funds, we helped about 60 young farmers to have more opportunities in order to have better access to this sector. This measure forms part of the strategy to continue investing in our youth and the Maltese agricultural sector so that this sector becomes more attractive, innovative, and efficient.”