“Gozitan and Maltese livestock farmers need the full support of the Maltese government to ensure continuity of their operations in milk production which have been facing unbalanced competition since Malta joined the EU,” said MEP Alfred Sant.
The MEP speaking during a visit to a livestock farm in Kercem, Gozo, added that “while Gozitan and Maltese holdings are necessarily small scale, their European competitors operate out of large scale farms that provide them with unbeatable economies of scale.”
Salvu Tabone and his family have been rearing cows for milk production over the years. Mr Tabone manages over 100 cows on his Kercem farm.
He explained that costs for the maintenance of the farm and animal feed costs have increased considerably over the past years.
“Feed accounts for 50-70% of the total costs in animal production. The number of cows in this farm has been reduced by one quarter over the past four years,” Mr Tabone said.
“Society must ensure the survival of livestock farms across Gozo and Malta. It is very worrying that our livestock farmers continuously ask themselves whether it makes sense to continue livestock production in their farms.” remarked Dr Sant.
Alfred Sant told Mr Tabone he will do his utmost to help farmers continue receive assistance through EU funds which provide incentives for farmers to maintain current levels of production in sectors or regions where specific types of farming or specific agricultural sectors particularly important for economic, social or environmental reasons undergo certain difficulties.