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Areas Urbanism & territory, Tourism and Economic activities Agriculture, Livestock, Fishing & Hunting

Formentera's farmers' market gets new look, more sales outlets

The Formentera Council's Office of Rural Affairs has announced a remodel of the island's farmers' market, the so-called Mercat Pagès. Changes will include wood furniture crafted by the growers themselves, new display cases and boxes to transport and store merchandise.

The number of vendors has also gone up—from two to three locally-based fruit and vegetable farmers. Plus, now for the first time, one grower offers organically-grown local fruit and vegetables. Additionally, signage in the building has been harmonised and prices are advertised prominently in an attempt to improve the experience of shoppers.

On a visit to the market, rural affairs councillor Bartomeu Escandell cheered what he called “high-quality fruit and vegetables” and the market's “increasingly important role on Formentera”. He also held it up as “a founding pillar” of the Council's bid to reactivate the Formentera countryside. The Mercat Pagès is located at Centre Antoni Tur “Gabrielet” in Sant Francesc and opens Monday to Saturday from 9.00am to 1.30pm.

Farmers' Co-operative retail outlet
The Farmers' Co-operative (Cooperativa del Camp) opened its members' sales location today with an inventory including fertilisers, grains, plant-protection products, animal feed, field tools and farming equipment. That location, at the Co-op's warehouse space in the Sant Francesc industrial park, opens Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 1.00am and 5.00 to 7.30pm.

Formentera Council turns over industrial space to farmers' co-op

Foto signatura conveni cooperativa campJaume Ferrer and Jaume Escandell, the respective heads of the Formentera Council and the island's co-operative of farmers, have signed three partnership agreements into action. The aim of the deals is two-fold. First, to reactivate the local countryside by offering alternatives to abandoned harvests and farmable land. Second, to chart job creation strategies and innovative options in local development.

For starters, the deals put use of a newly completed industrial space in the hands of Formentera's Cooperativa del Camp. Another component of the agreement is that the co-operative will retain management rights for the 504.7-square-metre (m2) property, located in Can Bonet industrial park, at no cost and for a period of ten years.

Moreover, the Cooperativa will be entrusted with stewarding a swath of land known as Can Marroig-Can Ballet. Under the terms of a May 12, 2016 arrangement between the Formentera Island Council and Institut Balear de la Natura (IBANAT), 12.05 hectares of IBANAT-controlled land were handed over to the local administration. Today's action, which formalises that five-year agreement (extendable for an additional five years), empowers the Council to enlist the farmers' co-operative in overseeing harvests on the lot.

Lastly, the two officials formalised a deal to grant the Cooperativa temporary use, also at no charge, of farming equipment owned by the Council. The group will retain control of the following items for four years:

Equipment
Quantity
Brand

Electric forklift truck
One
STILL

Hand pallet truck
One
STILL

Low lift pallet truck
One
STILL

Tractor
One
KUBOTA

Front loader
One
KUBOTA

Seed spreader
One
SOLANO HORIZONTE

Two-row super chisel
One
SOLANO HORIZONTE

Rototiller
One
JOPER

Reversible plow
One
HIBEMA

Mower
One
MARANGONI

Spreader
One
BMC AGRICULTURAL

Mounted hydraulic sprayer
One
GAMA

Trailer
One
HERCULANO

Rectangular packer
One
GALLIGNANI

Combine harvester
One
DEUTZ-FAHR

Harvester
One
LLORENTE

Rollout of crop safeguards

The Formentera Council has authorised open hunting on the common pigeon (Columba palumbus) May 21 to 28, June 11 to 25, July 9 to 23, August 6 to 20 and September 3 to 17, from 7.30 to 11.30am and 5.30 to 9.00pm. The administration extends its apologies to any residents inconvenienced by rifle shots that might be heard during those times. The measure is necessary to safeguard crops affected by the species.

A follow-up review will document the efforts and explore their impact.

Irrigation reservoir operational by year end

Visita can marroigAt 10.00am this morning in Can Marroig, Jaume Ferrer and Bartomeu Escandell, the Formentera Council's president and councillor of rural affairs, were joined by the Govern balear's minister of environment, Vicenç Vidal, in presenting details about an upcoming series of classes before members of the press. Organised by the region's job-seekers' agency (SOIB) and led by the Balearic institute of nature (IBANAT), the course is geared toward teaching construction techniques for traditional drystone walls.

At 12 noon the officials regrouped in the CiF Office of Culture's conference hall to talk with Formentera residents employed in watering fields. Mr Vidal apprised attendees on ongoing revisions at the island's purified-water-fed irrigation reservoir and noted that, today, just one electrical issue requires resolution before crews can embark on the final test-run. According to projections, the reservoir will at least be provisionally operational by year's end.

For his part, Mr Escandell thanked the Palma Office of Environment for their willingness to move forward with implementation of the reservoir. He reminded those present of the installation's nearly €9m price tag and that, in the seven year's since its completion, the reservoir has yet to be used. The rural affairs councillor trumpeted the structure for its ability to “close the water cycle by repurposing purified water for use in local fields”.

The Govern has spent €294,000 on the current push to bring the facilities up to snuff. The news was warmly received by Formentera's community of irrigators. The reservoir, Mr Vidal pointed out, is equipped with 80 distribution points that feed purified water to 70 hectares of land. At the meeting's close, the officials visited Edar de Formentera's purified-water-fed irrigation systems.

Help for island's coalition of livestock farmers

Foto signatura conveni ramadersThe administration has formalised a partnership agreement with Formentera's group of livestock farmers to bolster measures like animal sanitation and production systems upgrades. The deal signed by Council chair Jaume Ferrer and Jaume Tur, head of Associació de Ramaders de Formentera, lays the groundwork for funding of up to €37,000.

Under the pact the association commits to steps such as yearly vaccines and parasite treatments to ensure proper animal hygiene and uphold directives of Formentera's Office of Agriculture, Livestock, Fish and Hunting.

In addition to support for production, animal sanitation and other issues of animal health and identification across the group's network of member farms, the Associació pledges to apply measures agreed on at yearly meetings to develop common policy.

The coalition promises to continue educating member farmers about the tasks expected of individual farmers. These include:

-Disinfecting and pest removal.
-External treatment of parasites across sheep, goat and pig holdings and internal treatments of farm dogs.
-Tracking medicines given to productive animals on a log of medical treatments.
-Respecting medical indications prescribed by the group's veterinary service.
-Keeping food chain data for a forthcoming guidebook governing Formentera's abattoir
-Ear-tag identification with farm code for every head of livestock marked for slaughter. Ear tags will be supplied by CiF Office of Agriculture, Livestock, Fish and Hunting.
-Providing data for the census of livestock farm animals between January 1 and the final day of February.

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