[WATCH] Government will pay up to €3.5 million to farmers affected by February storm

Agriculture Parliamentary Secretary Clint Camilleri says 45% of all damages incurred by farmers as a direct result of last February's gale force storm will be paid by the government

Anna Zahra's farmland was battered in the February storm
Anna Zahra's farmland was battered in the February storm
Government will pay up to €3.5 million to farmers affected by February storm

The government will be paying 45% of all damages incurred by farmers as a direct result of last February's gale force storm that wreaked havoc all around.

This will come out of national funds and amounts to some €3.5 million, based on government sampling carried out back in February.

Agriculture Parliamentary Secretary Clint Camilleri said on Wednesday that compensation will cover the damage to greenhouses and crop tunnels, drystone walls, and the maintenance and repair of water mills.

Clint Camilleri said that this is the first time that farmers were being compensated via national funds
Clint Camilleri said that this is the first time that farmers were being compensated via national funds

At a press conference at the Agriculture and Rural Payments Agency in Ta' Qali, Camilleri said this was the first time that farmers were being compensated via national funds. The framework for this particular financial assistance will stay in place in the event of another storm or natural disaster.

"It was a lengthy process to come to this decision. First, we attempted to apply for EU funds but the EU required that the overall damages incurred due to the storm be over €60 million. We weren't able to reach this threshold," Camilleri said.

In February, MaltaToday had spoken to a farmer, Anna Zahra, who had upwards of €20,000 in damages due to gale force winds.

The 24 February gale storm had battered her farm, crushing crop tunnels and destroying greenhouses. The wind had a velocity of up to 133km/h.

READ ALSO: Farmer sees livelihood blown away by gale force winds

The documentation required for farmers to be eligible for financial assistance includes an architect's bill of quantities, confirmation from an architect that the damages incurred were due to the storm, photographic evidence, floor plans of the site, and a planning permit for all structures on the site.

"The assistance is limited to farmers or active SMEs in the primary sector of agricultural produce, that are registered as farmers in the Farmers' Registry," Camilleri said.

The application window for these funds will last until the end of September.

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