Parliamentary Secretary calls on the EU to aid local farmers

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Parliamentary Secretary calls on the EU to aid local farmersParliamentary Secretary Roderick Galdes has called on the EU to aid farmers in Gozo and Malta in order to alleviate the difficulties they are facing during these hard times.

Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights Roderick Galdes attended the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting held in Brussels.

Speaking about the current market situation, Parliamentary Secretary Galdes noted that in the case of the dairy sector, Malta agrees on raising the volumes limit eligible for intervention to stabilise the market, whilst highlighting the need to find new markets.

Malta also supported the creation of an early warning mechanism and prevention to define different levels of crisis and provide the necessary tools to help farmers and areas of production while taking into account the national specificities.

In the case of the pig sector, Parliamentary Secretary Galdes noted that the current market instability has drastically affected the pork market in Gozo and Malta. He stressed the need for future private storage schemes to take into account small farmers by establishing minimum quantities that are suitable for small-scale production.

Currently local farmers are also being affected by higher temperatures well above the seasonal average, threatening the harvest of fruits and vegetables. This is resulting in the oversupply of certain fruit and vegetables leading to lower prices due to supply being greater than demand.

Parliamentary Galdes urged the Commission to find an appropriate solution to help Gozitan and Maltese farmers.

During today's Council meeting, Ministers also held an exchange of views on animal welfare.

Galdes underlined Malta's support for the establishment of a European platform on animal welfare which should not only tackle best animal welfare practices, but also continue supporting the implementation of the current legislation across Member States.

Regarding fisheries, a proposal on the sustainable management of external fishing fleets was presented to the Council. Ministers then held an exchange of views on the issue.

Galdes noted that Malta would like to see a clearer text since the current wording seems to introduce new burdens in the Mediterranean where this Regulation will bring little added value.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights was accompanied by Ambassador Neil Kerr, Deputy Permanent Representative of Malta to the EU.

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