Four months after the devastating storms that swept the Maltese Islands, the Government has announced that it is to provide €3.5 million in compensation from the National Fund to help farmers who suffered structural damages in their fields. The Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Clint Camilleri, announced details of how farmers may benefit.
The Government first started receiving claims from farmers for structural damages after the storms of the 23rd and 24th February earlier this year.
Parliamentary Secretary Camilleri said the Government is allocating €3.5 million from public funds to defray the costs of these unforeseen damages. He explained the compensation will cover repairs or replacement of greenhouses, damages to tunnels or traditional water pumps the maintenance or replacement of stone walls that prevent soil erosion. Damages to farm buildings will be certified by architects. Those eligible will receive 45% of expenses.
Camilleri said the sum was established after the damages were assessed. He confirmed to TVM that claims had amounted to €8 million. He said the Government decided to compensate after it was established that in this case Malta was not eligible to receive EU Funds.
He said there had been no framework to cater for such occurrences. However, there is now a framework in place and may also be for future use although he hoped Malta would not suffer such devastating storms again. However, if it does, there is now a framework.
Claims applications are to be made and submitted to the Pitkalija at Ta’ Qali, the Għammieri Farm, or the Government Farm in Xewkija, Gozo, up to the end of the month.
Asked about claims made by fishermen who also suffered damages as a result of the storms, architect Camilleri said these are currently being assessed. He indicated these damages were not of the same extent and are to be announced in the coming weeks.