San Niklaw cattle farm to host seven milk-producing farms

Parliamentary secretary for agriculture Roderick Galdes visits milk-producing farm in Rabat upgraded according to EU standards

A complex of 12 milk-producing farms planned for Ta’ San Niklaw in Siggiewi is expected to welcome just seven milk-producing farms after a number of farmers shut down, according to parliamentary secretary for agriculture Roderick Galdes.

Visiting a milk-producing farm in Rabat which operates by EU standards, Galdes said the government was holding consultations with local councils and stakeholders on the project.

“Milk production is the most successful agriculture industry in Malta and despite the costs, producers give households the best product at the best prices. Households receive fresh milk within 24 hours, ensuring quality,” he said.

According to the parliamentary secretary, MEPA took eight years to approve the outline permit of the project: “Farmers who needed to relocate went out of business due to the problems they faced and the delays in the project. Initially, the Nationalist government wanted to cater for 17 farms. We now estimate that seven farms will be relocated.”

The project will see the relocation of farms currently occupying sites of historic value or are close to residential areas. The San Niklaw farm is situated some 2km away from Siggiewi, 1.7km away from Qrendi and 800m away from Dar tal-Providenza.

The historic site of San Niklaw will not be affected, Galdes added.

Both the mayors of Qrendi and Siggiewi were invited to visit the farm in Rabat to get an idea of how the San Niklaw project would be. Only the mayor and deputy mayor of Qrendi turned up.

“This is an opportunity for us to get a first-hand idea of how the project could be. Our alliance is towards our residents and we have to be constructive in our criticism. So far we haven’t pronounced ourselves on the project because we first want to get more information and understand what the repercussions could be.

“There are farms that meet EU standards, other don’t and the difference is immediately felt,” Qrendi mayor David Schembri said.

On average, every cow produces 30litres of milk daily. In Malta there are around 25 farmers who each have some 150 cows, making them the biggest milk producers on the island.

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