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Council renews partnership with farmers' co-op

foto-signatura-conveni-coopera1CiF president Jaume Ferrer and Jaume Escandell, the president of Formentera's Cooperativa del Camp (“Farmers' Co-operative”), put their signatures on a continuation of the joint action partnership between the two entities. As part of the partnership the Farmers' Co-op commits to supporting an ongoing public programme to promote the revival of local agriculture and the revaluation of the island's rural spaces and landscapes in 2019. Under the deal the Formentera Council pledges to provide the Co-op up to €115,000.

Consell de Formentera
Área de Comunicación
13 de marzo de 2019

Water alliance pays visit

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CiF rural affairs chief Bartomeu Escandell and environment chief Daisee Aguilera welcomed Aliança per l'Aigua coordinator Juan Calvo for a visit of the island's irrigation pond today. Also present at the event were Joan Ferrer, chair of the local Comunitat de Regants and representatives of the Tragsa company. Councillor Aguilera underlined the importance of infrastructure able to “find ways to use waste water in local fields and keep it from being dumped in Formentera's surrounding waters”. The goal, says Aguilera, is “to close the water cycle”.

January and February palm tree pruning months

foto tractament becutThe Formentera Council's agriculture department reminds islanders ofthe restrictions placed on pruning plant species that are susceptible to the red palm weevil, namely, palm trees. Residents are asked to limit their pruning to January and February, given these have been the coolest months in recent years.

Authorisation from agriculture office
To prune palm trees, individuals must always have the prior permission of the CiF agriculture office, the goal being to protect pruned trees from infestation and to ensure proper disposal of the garden waste generated in the process. With the green-light of the agriculture office, individuals are allowed to take waste to the local transfer plant, free of charge.

With plants that are susceptible to weevil infestation a series of precautions should be followed: prune only dry leaves; when green leaf pruning is absolutely necessary, cuts should be kept to a minimum and a scarring solution or other plant protection treatment should be applied; cuts should be clean and trunks should not be pared; and, lastly, “close shave” techniques should be avoided when pruning is ornamental (such pruning should only be applied when necessary and followed with a plant protection treatment immediately after). If any weevils are detected during pruning, contact the Council's Office of Agriculture so that the necessary steps can be followed.

Rhynchophorus ferrugineus —the insect also known as the red palm weevil which has devastated palm trees— reduces and even halts its activity altogether at low temperatures. Law 4/2016 of January 29, which establishes the need for efforts within the Balearic region to eradicate the insect and restricts palm tree pruning to the chilliest months.

Farmers return to Can Marroig

foto-visita-cultiu-can-marroig1The Formentera Council's president and rural affairs councillor met with two members of the Cooperativa del Camp, director Carlos Marí and chairman Jaume Escandell, along with Eivissa and Formentera's Ibanat delegate, Carolina Rodríguez, for a noon visit of the co-op's farming operations —a first— at Can Marroig.

CiF president Jaume Ferrer described Can Marroig as an “iconic local site long associated with agrarian activity”. Ferrer said agricultural work on the Can Marroig plots was abandoned “with the arrival of tourism” and that reviving traditional activity there has been “a goal of the Council's ever since the Govern balear purchased the property”.

Testing the waters
This week the “Farmers' Co-op” has sown the first two hectares' worth of native cereals, explained the Cooperativa's director, with plans to dedicate some of the harvest to making fodder. The rest will be given to islanders who say they need it. Marí indicated a pilot programme was in the works to plant aromatic herbs there.

For his part, rural affairs councillor Bartomeu Escandell spoke about the administration's commitment in recent years to reclaiming the countryside. Escandell pointed out that since its reactivation in 2015, the island's agrarian co-operative has received help in its efforts. Joint action initiatives have totalled €400,000, plus an industrial space was revamped to house the co-op and they have received roughly one million euros in machinery. The goal being, he said, “to continue promoting primary activity on the island”.

The Council, Govern balear and Ibanat, which owns the land, signed a deal in 2016 that made it possible to revive agrarian activity at Can Marroig.

Formentera offers 4 free courses for island's agrarian and livestock workers

foto vinya a-monteroThe Formentera Council's agriculture office unveiled its 2019 round of continuing development courses in agriculture and livestock. Four modules will take place between January and April; the first, beginners' level pesticides for individuals employed in professional farming, begins January 21.

The first course runs from January 21 to 25 in the afternoon from 4.00pm to 8.00pm, with an exam to check for comprehension on the January 26. Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a basic-level "phytosanitary product" handler's card. Registration is open now and can be completed at the OAC (Citizen Information Office) or online via the OVAC.

Reclaiming the countryside
Department head Bartomeu Escandell said the Council's longstanding commitment is about making sure those employed in the island's agriculture and livestock sector have free and local options to continue their learning. “Our course programme is directly shaped by the requests we get from agrarian and livestock workers”, he pointed out, “and is part of the administration's ongoing goal to revive the countryside”.

February 13 comes with a course on identifying and controlling the spread of Formentera's most common crop pests and blights, and on February 20 students can get a mix of textbook-based and hands-on instruction about grafting techniques on fruit trees. Both courses last five hours and go from 3.00pm to 8.00pm.

The last course —12 hours of class time on basic notions in viticulture and wine making— plays out April 3-6. Interested learners can sign up for any one of the courses at the OAC or online on the OVAC. Registration is already open and will close three days before the start of each module.

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