According to the head of the farmers’ lobby group, on Malta, the market for fruit and vegetables is in a very bad state.
“A box of watermelons is selling for around €5, which is a very, very low price,” said Malcolm Borg of the Għaqda Bdiewa Attivi. “We don’t know why this is happening… possibly because people have had enough of cooking at home? What we do know it that farmers were much better off during COVID-19,” he said.
Reports about the farmers’ struggles as restaurants closed down and open-air markets temporarily stopped functioning were published during March and April. In response, several restaurant owners and individuals came forward expressing the intention to support Malta’s farmers, Borg said.
Many people had approached him offering to help in one way or another, some even proposing initiatives to get more people to buy local produce.
The government has purchased about 500 tonnes of the potatoes and will be exporting them to Namibia in the coming days as part of Malta’s response to the food crisis in Africa. But another 500 tonnes remain unsold and farmers have no idea what they are going to do with them, Borg said, adding that the problem was still far from resolved.
“Despite the purchase of 500 tonnes, farmers are still struggling because there is so much more left.”