Minister for Finance and Labour Clyde Caruana together with the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Animal Rights Anton Refalo addressed a news conference at the Malta Dairy Products factory, during which they gave details about the important help that the government is providing to the Maltese and Gozitan villagers at the time of the pandemic.
Minister Clyde Caruana said that the agriculture sector is especially important for our country and like other sectors it has been hit extremely hard during the pandemic. Minister Caruana explained how the blow to tourism in recent months has caused a substantial reduction in dairy consumption. Despite this, Maltese and Gozitan villagers still needed to earn a living and also take care of their animals.
Minister Caruana said, “As a government, we have recognized this challenge and have granted aid which amounts to one million euros to this factory which produces dairy products. This enables it to export its products abroad to new markets. Additionally, this aid not only helps the factory to continue to operate during this difficult period, but also helps the dairy farmers to continue with their work as well as save their animals.”
Minister Caruana said that through his Ministry he will continue to keep in touch with this factory in order not only to safeguard the interest of families, but also the security of milk supply in our country. He added, “This period of the pandemic is temporary, so we need to make sure that the farmers’ cattles are safeguarded, so that as soon as the demand for these products increases again, they will be capable of providing the required supply.”
Minister Caruana stated that the government’s commitment will remain the one that assists every sector in our country in order to safeguard the interest of Maltese and Gozitan families.
On his part, Minister Anton Refalo stated how “KPH is an enterprise which has progressed, in a sector that is robust and resilient to the COVID-19 pandemic. We as a Ministry have always been behind this sector, we have provided € 3 million in COVID-19 aid to the dairy farmers. But it is the duty and responsibility of the government to listen and act. “
Minister Anton Refalo explained that, “The way we are progressing through our visionary plan, is clear evidence that the government believes in this invaluable sector, and we believe that in Europe if we fight for that aid which was previously provided by direct payments, it will continue to be provided. This is a strong signal that we are here to assist this sector.”
Minister Refalo concluded his speech by emphasizing how, “It is the duty of the government to promote and drive this sector.”