With the aim of farmers and herdsmen also saving on water consumption, the Agency for Water Management and Conservation has launched a campaign through a 750,000 euro scheme aimed specifically at this sector and which is part of the national campaign for water conservation, with the theme “L-Ilma Ibda Minnek”.
The Chief Executive of the Agency for Energy and Water, Manuel Sapiano, stated that some 150 farmers or herdsmen will benefit from this scheme,. without any additional expenses to themselves. Mr Sapiano explained that every chosen agricultural activity will get an investment not exceeding 5,000 euro in interventions and equipment aimed at careful use of water. The interventions will range from simple changes like improvements to the watering system, to work on cisterns.
“Company officials will meet and discuss with these farmers and herdsmen, after which they will jointly develop the necessary measures, as we are of the opinion every field or farm is a typical case, a different set-up. The involvement of the owner running the farm is essential, so that the measures to be developed will be tailor-made for the activity’s particular needs.”
Mr Sapiano added that monitoring will take place, together with the farmer or herdsman, with the aim of identifying the necessary measures. Farmers or herdsmen have to be full-timers, registered with the Department of Agriculture, and owners of the land which has to exceed half a hectare in size.
The Minister for Energy and Water, Joe Mizzzi, stated that the agricultural sector is one of the heaviest consumers of water, adding that through these interventions, farmers and herdsmen will reduce their water costs.
The Parliamentary Secretary for Farming, Fisheries and Animal Rights, Clint Camilleri, stated that direct assistance is being provided to farmers and herdsmen through these measures, whilst also safeguarding water resources.
Applications will be accepted up to 4 October, and can be downloaded online on ilma.org.mt or at the ‘Għajn’ national centre for water conservation in Rabat.