The Wied Inċita nursery at Attard on Friday served as a background for the launching of the ‘Għaqda Bdiewa Attivi’, a farmer’s organization which hopes to serve as a nursery to increase awareness by consumers on local fresh agricultural products while safeguarding farmers’ interests. The new organization already has 100 members.
Għaqda Bdiewa Attivi wants to deliver the message to Maltese consumers on the genuine quality of Maltese agricultural products. At a time when farmers are facing many challenges, including the weather and many imported products, the organization is striving to see that products of Maltese farmers are on the table of consumers within 24 hours, and therefore have no preservatives.
The organization’s coordinator, Malcolm Borg, said that Għaqda Bdiewa Attivi will also tackle other issues which closely concern local agriculture. “The organization’s priority is the pitkalija and pesticides, however the issue of the high amount of pesticides reported recently will be tackled immediately; there are other challenges but the important thing is that farmers have an organization to represent them”.
Farmer Joseph Muscat complained that consumers sometimes are deceived with imported products. He said “especially competition by foreign products and another problem is that the consumer, due to certain abuses, is buying products sold as Malta products, but are not Maltese”.
The farmer added that it is very important that local products are presented in a way that are recognized from foreign ones so that the consumer is aware what he is purchasing.
Marjan Cini, another farmer, called for the protection from unjust competition for real working farmers. “We are not recognized, compared with recreational farmers or those who in fact are not farmers. Our products may easily be mixed with foreign ones and sold without any controls and safeguarded with laws which are enforced”.
Għaqda Bdiewa Attivi stated that farmers work continuously against natural elements and other difficulties, including administrative and financial ones so that their products are of high quality. It emphasized the need that the agricultural sector is assisted to be sustainable and can provide healthy products in the local market.