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Areas Urbanism & territory, Tourism and Economic activities Agriculture, Livestock, Fishing & Hunting

Farmers look forward to cereal harvest twice as large as last year's

campanya-collita-cereal-2018-a4The Formentera Council's rural affairs office announces that the local farmers co-op has concluded harvests of cereals across 21 member fields plus those lent to it as part of the group's Cens de Terres de Cultiu (“Farmland Reserve”) project.

Harvesting across a total of 17.5 hectares (10ha of barley; 5.5ha of oats and 2ha of wheat), the co-op logged 21,100 kilograms of cereals (14 tonnes of barley, 4,100 kg of oats and three tonnes of wheat)—twice the size as last year, when Formentera was hit by a drought.

Wet weather behind success
Department head Bartomeu Escandell welcomed the campaign's success, which he held up as the product of a “wet winter and a springtime cereals harvest which has reaped double what it did last year”. Escandell called such efforts “critical for the revival of the local primary sector and the protection of Formentera's rural environment”.

Factoring in another 39.5ha of fields belonging members of the co-op, the association oversaw work on a total of 57ha. That figure doesn't include another 52ha of fodder plantations, which were harvested in May.

Given the local varieties employed proved to be the most drought resistant, the co-op plans to use the harvested cereals for local consumption and seeds for future harvests.

Formentera unlocks quarter million to refurbish and restore cultural heritage sites

Mur pedra secaThe Formentera Council's Offices of Patrimony and Rural Affairs report that applications will now be accepted for assistance to rehabilitate dry-stone walls, bury overhead utility cables and execute work on Formentera's cultural heritage sites.

In all, €250,000 will be opened up between 2018 and 2019—seventy-five thousand in 2018 and another €175,000 in 2019.

Targeted assistance
The money is intended to drive maintenance, consolidation and betterment of those sites treasured either for their significance to local heritage or from an aesthetic point of view.

For culture and heritage secretary Susana Labrador, the aid is about “showcasing our heritage and drawing on traditional strategies to care for valuable assets like dry-stone walls”.

Officials hope the money will help promote a broader awareness about the value of reclaiming original features of heritage sites that give Formentera its unique character.

Applications
Interested islanders will have until Tuesday, May 15 to submit applications to the Citizen Information Office (OAC) or the Virtual Citizen Information Office (OVAC) at www.consellinsulardeformentera.cat.

For complete details, click here.

Upgrades across heritage sites
In a bid to preserve and beautify an asset to Formentera's local landscape, the Formentera Council will oversee reforms of dry-stone walls at the entrance of el Pilar de la Mola church plaza.

Formentera lends support to local livestock farmers

Ovella reduxThe Formentera Council struck a deal today with the island's Associació de Ramaders (Association of Stockbreeders) that is aimed at promoting animal hygiene and improving productive systems. CiF president Jaume Ferrer sat down with Associació chair Alfonso Ferrer to sign the compact, which unlocks €37,000 in funding.

Under the terms of the deal, members of the league of Formentera farmers pledge to keep their livestock in sanitary conditions, up to date on vaccines, yearly parasite treatments and the health regime of the CiF's department of agriculture, livestock, fishing and hunting.

The Associació, in turn, promises to give the Council support in production, animal health and other “welfare- or identification-related actions”for the animals on farms integrated into the island's so-called Agrupació de Defensa Sanitària. Another pledge: to conduct the actions laid out annually in the so-called “common health programme”.

The league of livestock workers also agrees to continue educating member farmers on the following issues:

-Disinfecting and pest control.
-External parasite prevention for sheep, goat and pigs and internal treatment for dogs on farms.
-Full reporting in Associació's “registry of medical treatments” of medicines given to animals
-For medicines prescribed by a vet, respecting the ADS veterinary service-established treatment plan.
-Supplying complete food-chain information prior to slaughter
-Fitting abattoir-bound lambs and kids with tags containing individual farm registry codes. Tags will be supplied by the CiF Office of Agriculture, Livestock, Fishing and Hunting.
-Participate in the mandatory livestock census between January 1 and February 28.

Fresh crop of courses for farm hands in training

Taller dagricultura per a infantsThe Formentera Council's Office of Agriculture reports that this Tuesday, February 1, registration will open for a series of workshops pitched as “agriculture for kids”. Enrolment will stay open to the start of classes or until no space remains. Even still, the office will put together a wait list for any children not enrolled by the deadline.

The workshops will begin Saturday, February 17 and continue in June when schools break for summer holidays.

Tuned for youngsters and intended as a vector for environmental education and personal and social development, the activity is also being seen as a tool to promote young peoples' connection to rural and traditional settings as well as respect and defence of nature.

Two separate groups will meet for two hours each on Saturday mornings. Kids four to six will meet from 10.00am to 12 noon while seven- to eleven-year-olds will have class from 12 noon until 2.00pm.

The workshops, envisioned for groups of no more than 15, will be led by two instructors at the Hort dels nens (“children's garden”) near Sant Francesc's sa Tanca Vella landmark. Shoes and clothing worn should be both comfortable and appropriate, and children are urged to bring a bottle of water.

Environment councillor Bartomeu Escandell said the decision to bring the workshops back was due to their success in previous years. The idea, he explained, is to “see that our young ones are not only familiar with, but also can take pleasure in, the field work that constitutes such a deeply-entrenched aspect of island life”. He described his department's mission “to reactivate the local countryside” as “a task that is guaranteed to continue in future generations if we start young”.

Formentera offers six agriculture and livestock courses

Foto grup curs agriculturaThe Formentera Council's Office of Agriculture reports that this Friday, December 15, enrolment will begin for continuing education courses in produce and livestock farming for 2018. Classes begin January 15 with a supplemental course for professionals on the rudiments of pesticide. A total of six courses are available as part of this year's lifelong learning catalogue.

Department chair Bartomeu Escandell laid out his office's goal: “Assure a wide variety of courses and training opportunities, open to the public, for the island's farming and livestock sectors”. Such courses aim to meet the need for “specialised training in agriculture, livestock rearing and agrofood,” said Escandell.

This time around, with the focus trained on providing examples of success stories among enterprising individuals in rural communities, the Council hopes to offer inspiration for like-minded farmers. One course about “agrarian entrepreneurialism” is positioned as experience sharing about reclaiming and adapting the countryside. It will take place over three full-day sessions during which figures from big-name agricultural initiatives will share their experiences with participants.

Courses

1. Basic pesticides for professionals – Complentary (7 hours) January 15 and 16
2. Basic pesticides for professionals (25 hours) January 22 to 26
3. Managing large harvests. Alternatives in improving production and soil fertility. (10 hours) January 30 and 31
4. Agrarian entrepreneurialism: Experiences reclaiming and readapting the countryside (15 hours) February 9, 16 and 17
5. Earth-smart horticulture (10 hours) February 22 and 23
6. Detection and control of Xylella fastidiosa (5 hours) March 9

The classes, which are free and combine both theory and its practical application, last between 5 and 25 hours and will take place in Council buildings.

Part of the 2014-2020 rural development programme of the Balearic Islands, the continuing education initiative receives funding from the European Regional Development Fund, Spain's general public administrative service (AGE) and the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands (CAIB).

Anyone interested in signing up should visit the Citizen's Information Office in person from 9.00am to 2.00pm, do it online via OVAC, request info through the Formentera Council's Office of Agriculture by calling 971.32.10.87 extensions 3166 and 3165, or contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Enrolment will remain open as long as there is space available to ensure proper instruction.

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