The last rural development funds from the EU Budget are to be distributed between 19 entities that specialise in the production of milk, the processing of meat and rabbits and the production of eggs, tomatoes and wine, among others. This is to support their investment and processing and development of agricultural products.
Between them the entities will receive €5.4 million, part of which will come from EU Funds.
Milk producers are among the beneficiaries. The CEO of the Cooperative Group of Milk Producers, Robert Cauchi, said these funds are needed so that companies remain sustainable and continue to develop their technology. Cauchi explained the pandemic has imposed great burdens on milk producers.
He said that important outlets had been lost such as hotels, restaurants and catering in general and this presented a challenge of how the milk was to be used. He said farmer cannot stop the production of milk but methods have been found for diversification and distribution and this has helped farmers to continue while there has also been help from Europe to enable the sector to continue during these difficult times.
Parliamentary Secretary Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi said that through the help of EU Funds this sector may continue to progress and local products will continue to reach consumer in the best of condition. He said this measure ties in with others to give farmers the opportunity to improve their production capacities.
The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Anton Refalo, said these funds will close the programme of funds that have been operative for the last seven years. Meanwhile work is taking place for a new funding programme that will lead to 2027 with further schemes for farmers.
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