Information and Communications
Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs
Francesco Buonamici Street, Floriana FRN 1700, Malta, EUTel: +356 2295 2000 Fax: +356 2295 2212
The project will last until December 2013. This information and communications campaign is designed to provide farmers and livestock breeders with information and training to act in accordance with the European Nitrates Directive and the associated Action Plan.
The project’s key objectives include: i. To assist farmers and livestock breeders to comply with the obligations of the Nitrates Directive. ii. To make farmers and their households aware of the harmful effects on health of excessive application of nitrogen that contaminate groundwater resources. iii. To make livestock breeders and their households aware of the harmful effects on health of improper management of animal manure that contributes to contamination of groundwater resources. iv. To train farmers in changing their farming practices so that nitrogen levels in soil are reduced through the correct application of nitrogenous fertilisers. v. To train livestock breeders in the proper management of animal manure so that nitrogen levels in soil are reduced.
Throughout the campaign, all 849 full-time farmers and all 1,739 part-time farmers who hold more than 1.5 hectares of land will be receiving individual training. During these training sessions the farmers will be provided with soil analysis kits and given training on how to use them. In order to reach all farmers, there will be persons available at the wholesale vegetable and fruit market at Ta’ Qali to assist farmers in any queries they might have in relation to the Nitrates Action Plan. There will also be scientific trainers, working at the Plant Health Directorate, who will be carrying out soil analysis for an additional 3,000 farmers.Training sessions will also be held with all the 925 livestock breeders to communicate effectively the key information messages of the campaign so that the project’s objectives are realised.There is also planned a number of village meetings to give the opportunity to farmers and livestock breeders to exchanges their views, ask questions and obtain further information. These village meetings will be taking place in different localities around Malta and Gozo.Informative brochures and DVDs containing a detailed explanation of the obligatory measures that lie within the Nitrates Action Programme will be distributed to all farmers and livestock breeders.
The campaign is designed to bring a change in how farmers and livestock breeders carry out their agricultural/livestock practices to start applying nitrogenous fertilisers in amounts that are in accordance with that the soil requires and not in a haphazard way as the current practice is
Reduction in nitrogen levels in soil and groundwater