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

Farmland reserve swells to more than 100 hectares

rp cens terresThe councillor of rural affairs, Bartomeu Escandell, explained today that after six months in operation, the Cens de Terres de Cultiu programme (roughly translated as 'farmland reserve') has acquired 105 hectares for cultivation this winter by the Formentera farmers' collective. Escandell thanked Formentera residents for participating by donating their unused land, which will now serve for the further beautification of the Formentera countryside and —quite literally— bear the fruits that will revive the primary sector of the local economy.

The councillor encouraged other owners of unused plots to cede them for tilling by the farmers' cooperative. He noted that donated plots typically remain in the cooperative's possession for a period of three to five years and that, in addition to being cost-free for the owners, the process results in material returns — «including money saved on maintenance costs, improvements to the land and discounts on products and services from the cooperative».

Developing the agricultural sector
Councillor Escandell emphasised the goal of the cooperative is to «provide local products for the farmers' market, streamline the revival of Formentera's primary sector and supply the service sector». In 2015, the Formentera Council put forward €95,000 to fund the start of activity at the cooperative. The group also required an investment of €590,000 — a third of the money came from the Leader programme and the rest were provided by the Formentera Council — to fund construction of the group's warehouse space, which Escandell announced would be ready before year end.

For his part, Carlos Marí, the cooperative's head manager, explained that 46 property owners have signed up for the reserve, with the 105 hectares of donated land coming from a total of 68 different plots. Mr Marí explained that the cooperative is currently getting the land ready for sowing operations in November and December. According to the group's head, plans are to sow mostly local flora, including barley and wheat. He confided: «The objective is to supply local stockbreeders with the feed they currently must buy from non-local sources», thus reaching self-sufficiency for the island's livestock animal feed.

Temporary authorisation given for hunting of wood pigeon

The Formentera Council's office of rural affairs announced today that, for questions of population control and the protection of local crops, the office would grant an exceptional and temporary authorisation for certain types of hunting. Sundays and Thursdays until 16 August, from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 to 9 p.m., the hunting of a particular type of pigeon—the wood pigeon, or ringdove—will be permitted on established game reserves.

The goal of the action, according to rural affairs councillor Bartomeu Escandell, is “to assure the adequate protection of those crops—namely grapes—that can be negatively impacted by this species of pigeon whose population has spiked locally in recent years”. As Escandell concluded, “the move falls within the CiF's programme of rural renewal and represents one method of guarding against plagues that impede that renewal”.

Fons de Terres programme counts 21 lots among reserve

fons terres290415This week, a joint project of the Formentera farmers cooperative and Formentera Council known as Fons de Terres (meaning 'farmland reserve') took a leap forward with the annexation of five new parcels of donated land. Shortly after the project's review board gave the go-ahead for the addition, farmers cooperative head Carlos Marí announced: “With these five parcels—a combined 68,000 square metres—the total area of reclaimed land stands at 242,000 sq. m.”

The donated lots are situated at different points across the island in vénda de sa Punta (4), es Ca Marí (4), Porto Salé (5), vénda del Molí de s'Estany (2), Es Cap de Barbaria (4), Es Brolls (1) and La Mola (1). Work has already begun on 6 of the 21 parcels now registered. The farmers cooperative has reported that crops will be sown in November and December.

Work on abandoned farmland begins under Fons de Terres programme

primer Camp sembrat290415The project of the Formentera Farmers' Cooperative and Formentera Council, Fons de Terres (translatable in English as 'Farmland Reserve'), has taken off with work on the first lots of owner-donated land. The project was started in an attempt to revive agricultural production and yield, landscapes and the farming profession.

The first work to be done was at can Lluquinet, Vénda de sa Punta, where two plots comprise a total of 30,000 square metres. In this initial round of work, property owners have ceded six parcels, stretching from Punta Prima to Porto Salé.

Formentera Council president Jaume Ferrer congratulated “all the parties involved for giving hope to the dream of seeing our farmland in Formentera active and productive once again”.

Jaume Escandell, president of the Farmers' Cooperative, affirmed he was “very happy to be seeing the first fruits of our labour” while hinting “it will be even better when we can sow crops and harvest”.

Formed by representatives of both the Cooperative and Council, the farmland evaluation commission anticipates soon the green light will be given to permit the addition of another four parcels. Carlos Marí, head of the Farmers' Cooperative, lauded “the extremely positive reception that the project has enjoyed so far”.

Council pacts with stockbreeders on rural renewal

ramaders conveni 240415This morning, Formentera Council president Jaume Ferrer and councilman Santi Juan of the office of agriculture, livestock and fishing, put their signature on a collaborative accord struck with the Associació de Ramaders (Stockbreeders' Association) of the island. As part of the deal, the Associació, whose president Santi Tur was also on hand for the morning's signing, will receive total funding in the amount €32,000, to be dispersed in three parts over the coming year.

The accord will serve to further strengthen the Council's dedication to improving both the productivity and landscapes of Formentera countryside. This commitment has already been demonstrated through other collaborative projects, such as the untilled land use (Fons de Terres) project and the construction of an industrial space for the island's agricultural sector, both with the Formentera Farmers' Cooperative.

According to group president Santi Tur, with some one hundred locals on its member rolls, the Associació de Ramaders tallies 81 heads of pig and 842 goats and sheep among its membership's livestock. Tur affirmed: “We are very grateful to the Formentera Council because without this financial backing it would be much more difficult to do what we do”.

Says Jaume Ferrer, the pact is also a way to support proper hygiene among farm animals. The Council president cited veterinary services included in the present deal, but also spoke of a broader vision: “An important part of the pact is the support it provides for improving agricultural production”.

Councillor of agriculture Santiago Juan reminded those in the crowd that “above and beyond this accord, the Council of Formentera helps with the purchase of medication and – a little over a year ago, during an exceptionally crippling dry spell – provided a special round of assistance in the form of animal feed”.

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