Here are the latest developments regarding the COVID situation in relation to agriculture and how it might affect farmers and breeders.
Over the past few months, the MaYA Foundation has assisted several farmers who were caught under a mandatory quarantine. While doing so, we have been in close contact with relevant departments within the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health.
Until a few weeks ago, bona fide farmers were being granted exemptions, upon request and subject to approval. Such exemptions allowed farmers to visit the farm for an hour early in the morning, and an hour late a night.
Yesterday we got to know from the Quarantine team that "no exemptions can be granted for the feeding of animals / tending to crops". The email stated that the Agriculture Extension services, Fisheries as well as the Animal Health and Welfare department may be contacted. Unfortunately, as far as we know, this drastic change has not yet been communicated officially.
Following our communication with the Office of the Commissioner for Animal Welfare, we were told that "the wellbeing of the animals should always come first and farmers should always have a backup plan for feeding their animals." They also expressed their concern about preparedness and asked "What if it wasn’t Covid-19 but God forbid an accident that lands the farmer in hospital? These things happen, and preparation is key."
Click here for information and recommendations about farmers and COVID-19 quarantine measures
We are doing our best to help out farmers who may need help and to keep you all informed on the news section of our website (www.maya.org.mt). In the meantime, our advice to farmers and breeders is to be prepared and plan ahead in case one is obliged to follow a mandatory quarantine. Farmers may still opt to carry out the quarantine period on their farm, however, this has to be clearly stated before they start the quarantine.
Should you need to contact us email us at email@example.com.