Front Harsien ODZ is pleased to see that MSDEC is taking steps to protect and promote the agricultural sector, rather than let it continue to die out. During a seminar organised by the Front it was agreed that in order to save Maltese countryside, the agriculture sector needed to be strengthened, so that farmers’ would not easily give up their land to private ventures.
Poor profit margins, the aging farming community, farmers’ complaints against the Pitkalija system and the need to consolidate land holdings, were all addressed during this seminar, as were water quality and management, biodiversity and climate change. Thus it is very encouraging to see that the Ministry is thinking along the same lines, and we hope that concrete steps will soon be taken to address the issues listed in this paper.
Front Harsien ODZ emphasises that all existent planning and development legislation (e.g. SPED, international and local protection of sensitive sites, and the requirement to carry out Environmental Impact Assessments) should be adhered to in any cases of development that may result from this review of agricultural policy. Moreover, small-scale developments should be assessed in terms of their cumulative effects on the Maltese countryside.