PN calls for government intervention after 40 pig farms close down in four years

Nationalist Party appeals for protection of local food supply, through subsidised animal feed • Alleges fraud on frozen imported meat sold as locally produced

File photo
File photo

Pork production is down by 30% after 40 pig farms closed down over the past four years, the Nationalist Party has said.

“We can’t keep completely depending on the imported products. We need to help those that produce meat locally,” spokesperson Peter Agius said on Tuesday.

Agius was addressing a press conference together with PN candidate Charles Azzopardi.

Peter Agius argued that the 2017 Labour Party manifesto had promised to help local farmers, however the licenced pig farms went down from 134 in 2017 to 93 today. “More than 40 pig farms have closed down under the Labour government.”

Agius and Azzopardi said that this is “alarming” not only for the farmer but also for the consumer, since the local production went down from 110,000 kilograms a week to 85,000 in nine years.

They also said that the price of feed has been on the rise, with a 30% increase in the past year alone. “Prices increased for a fourth time this week. In the meantime, all the local farmers, those that breed chickens, cows and pigs are on the brink of failure. They now understand the Labour promises were all empty,” Azzopardi stated.

The PN said in a statement it believes in the local product and that it is committed to conducting studies with regards to the importation costs of feed and to directly offer aid to compensate for the rising prices.

“The PN is committed to combat the food frauds. Farmers describe various cases and circumstances where pork, poultry and other products are sold as Maltese, but are not,” they said.

It also mentioned allegations of forzen meat purchased from Asia, sold as a local fresh product. PN asked for the Government’s intervention on the matter, whom it accused of remaining idle and ignoring justice with the local producers and consumers.