Farmer’s cooperative sows first hay field

Sembrada Fons-Terres Eva Parey premsaFormentera Council president Jaume Ferrer has commended workers at the island’s farmers’ cooperative (el Cooperativa del Camp) for the work they’ve recently begun sowing hay seed on a field in Can Parra. The hay will come from vetch, barley and oat seeds and will be used as fodder for local livestock. «This», declared the president, «is unequivocal evidence the revival we’ve talked about in Formentera’s rural areas is really there».

The plots where the hay is being sown are part of Formentera's recently-established farmland reserve (el Cens de Terres de Cultiu), a store of 135 hectares of land temporarily donated by Formentera property-owners to be made use of this winter. In November the cooperative plans to sow 15 hectares of hay – 5 in La Mola and 10 between Sant Francesc and Sant Ferran. The following month, when the cooperative sets out planting cereal crops, they estimate the number will grow to 70 hectares (20 each in La Mola and Sant Ferran and 30 in Sant Francesc). The work is being carried out by novice farmers and long-time professionals alike, both contracted by the Formentera cooperative.

The measures were devised to enhance the beauty of Formentera’s rural zones and reactivate the local primary industry. President Ferrer took the opportunity to encourage more owners of underworked plots to donate them to the cooperative. The process, which usually lasts between three and five years, is completely free and ultimately benefits owners, who, Ferrer pointed out, «save money on maintenance, regain an improved terrain and receive discounts on products and services through the cooperative».