Undoubtedly, no one knows better how vital water is to all of us than farmers. They need to keep their crops alive and flourishing but also be sure they are harvesting their water source for all the dry seasons to come. Farmers, from all over the world, have come a long way in their skill to use water sensibly and efficiently. More than ever, due to the effects of climate change and the increased occurrence of drought events, farmers are finding it increasingly difficult to continue with their crop cultivation patterns as a result of the limited availability of natural water resources. As a result, local farmers are relying more on water harvesting methods and efficient irrigation practices to use the limited available waters more efficiently.
Malta’s national water conservation campaign has increased awareness in all sectors
Thanks to the on-going nationwide water conservation campaign ‘WATER – BE THE CHANGE’, more people are becoming more mindful that efficient water use should be a common duty for all. Water resources are under huge pressure given the current projections for population increase and demand for food on the one hand, and climate change on the other.
According to the latest statistics, Malta currently has around 19,000 farmers, of which only around 7% are full timers. As this sector is vital to our well-being and needs water to thrive, it requires an investment for it to further safeguard our natural water resources.
An investment of €750,000 to support full-time and part-time farmers
In order to support the agricultural industry, €750,000 are being invested to fund around 150 farmers for the efficient use of water in the agricultural sector. This financial incentive is part of the initiative through the Energy and Water Agency’s campaign ‘WATER – BE THE CHANGE’ and eligible farmers applying will benefit from up to €5,000 in water saving interventions. Such interventions range from simple measures, such as upgrading their irrigation system, to more larger scale interventions such as the restoration of reservoirs.
Farmers will get the support of technical officers who will identify and recommend interventions to make more efficient use of water. This initiative is available for both full-time and part-time farmers and must at least own 0.5 hectares of land.
The entitled applicants must have access to at least one of the following water resources:
• Access to New Water;
• A rainwater-harvesting reservoir with an identifiable rainwater catchment area;
• A registered and metered Borehole.
On application, team members from the; ‘WATER – BE THE CHANGE’ campaign, will carry out a site inspection at the applicant’s fields or farm, and identify with the farmer what water-saving interventions can be made to increase efficiency and discuss alternative water saving measures.
An opportunity not to be missed by those working in agriculture
Indeed, agriculture in Malta is considered to be a sensitive sector on which the livelihood of numerous families depends, and which is greatly connected to the quality of the country’s natural environment. This is a unique opportunity for the full-time and part-time farmers to benefit from this incentive
For further information, visit water.org.mt/waterchampion/agriculture or call 8007 2337 for more information.