Statement of Solidarity with Maghtab Farmers
Friends of the Earth Malta shows its full support and solidarity with the Maghtab farmers who this morning blocked off the entrance to the Wasteserv Facility in Maghtab in response to the threat that the government would seize their fields after the publication of a legal notice advising that around 226 tumoli of fields would be needed to expand the Wasteserv site.
The farming community should be supported and should not made to bear the brunt of a failed waste management system which is slowly turning our island into one big land fill a few hundred tumoli of land at a time.
Although we understand that this problem just landed on the new Environment Minister’s lap, if he wants to do things differently than he should refrain from taking up more land for waste facilities, since that was the modus operandi for at least the past four decades.
Our prime target must be waste reduction. Systems like the bottle return schemes need to be put in place urgently and hopefully will be followed by other national schemes that will reduce our waste generation in the first place. Initiatives to revive small repair shops which ran out of business due to the throwaway culture need to be encouraged and assisted—mechanisms need to be in place in order to ensure that discarding a broken item will cost more than fixing it.
Shifting the problem onto farmers is definitely not the solution – Malta is already in a vulnerable position when it comes to food security as has been seen recently by the panic buying episode where people are genuinely concerned that should food imports be restricted for any reason, our food production system will not be able to feed us.
1 – Tractors close off access to Magħtab. Photo: Keith Micallef