Government to grant €1m in assistance to herdsmen who produce milk and are affected by pandemic
The reduction in the demand for fresh milk products due to the pandemic impact on tourism and restaurants is having repercussion on herdsmen who furnish the Malta Dairy Products with milk in Malta and Gozo.
In comments to Television Malta, Agriculture Minister Anton Refalo announced that the Government will be granting to herdsmen who produce milk some one million euro to compensate them for the Covid-19 impact on the production and demand for milk products.
The chairman of the Milk Producers Cooperative, Brian Vella, said that as in winter the cows produce more milk, the reduction in demand during this period will mean a loss for milk herdsmen, who in recent years have increased their herds.
Mr Vella added that while herdsmen may reduce production by changing the recipe of cows feed so that they will not produce extra milk, this will just the same have a financial impact on them.
Minister Anton Refalo told TVM announced that the government will be granting one million euro to herdsmen who produce milk and a quarter of a million euro to herdsmen who produce beef.
“Now herdsmen will be granted no less than a million and a quarter in direct payments from national funds, however we had to have EU approval. Indirectly, the herdsmen are benefiting from one and a half million for the herds fodder. This is not enough and were are looking at how we can assist herdsmen and farmers”.
Minister Refalo said that these funds may be given now because the Government took action at the beginning of the pandemic to avoid the collapse of the milk industry which could have led to the dumping of milk supply.
Despite the reduction in demand, the Malta Dairy Products said that it adjusted its production to use all the milk it received from the herdsmen.