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Maltese farmers unite to circumvent market disruption

In Malta, the agricultural community faced a significant challenge when the traditional intermediaries at the Pitkalija market had their licenses revoked. Despite the dire predictions, the Malta Youth in Agriculture Foundation (MaYA) observed a commendable level of cooperation among farmers, ensuring the market's operation was maintained. This collaborative effort, however, did not shield them from all negative impacts, with the full extent of the disruption still under review.

The absence of licensed middlemen necessitated a direct selling approach by the farmers at the market, a situation that could have led to severe complications without the intervention of a dedicated governmental body. The Farmers' Central Cooperative Ltd (FCCS), although barred from operating within the Pitkalija through a judicial order, facilitated an alternative marketplace at the MFCC car park, showcasing the resilience and adaptability of the farming community. Jeanette Borg, a spokesperson for the foundation, highlighted the vital role of FCCS in managing not only the produce of their members but also assisting other farmers in direct sales to vendors.

Over the weekend, many farmers also took initiative to sell their produce directly from their fields, minimizing the risk of food waste—a paramount concern for the sector. Borg emphasized the collective effort to ensure the availability of local produce in supermarkets, underscoring the community's determination to overcome the challenges posed by the suspension of the middlemen's licenses. Market activity proceeded with farmers offering their produce at reasonable prices, mitigating the potential for market chaos.


Photo source: Dreamstime

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