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

Open enrolment for children's farming course

foto hort nens 2The Formentera Council's agriculture department reports that from today islanders can register their young ones to participate in courses on farming. Signups run Monday October 8 to the start of classes or until no more space is available. The classes themselves begin Saturday October 20 and continue to June, roughly the same timeline as the 2018/2019 academic calendar.

Tuned for youngsters, the course is a vector for environmental learning and individual and social development of participating children, adding a practical dimension to their day-to-day learning. Familiarity with time-honoured, rural traditions promotes respect for the environment and vice versa.

The workshops will take place Saturday mornings, with two distinct groups attending separate two-hour sessions. Four- to six-year-olds will gather from 9.30am to 11.30am and seven- to eleven-year-olds meet from 12 noon to 2.00pm. Children must be born between 2007 and 2014 to participate.

There may be no more than 12 children to a group.

Instruction will play out at the children's vegetable patch located near Sant Francesc's Sa Tanca Vella chapel. Participants should wear comfortable clothing and appropriate footwear and bring a small bottle of water. The agriculture office will keep a waitlist to accommodate children not registered on time.

Department head Bartomeu Escandell attributed the course's return a fourth straight year to islanders' warm reception of past editions. The idea, he said, is to “get children learning about and enjoying the agrarian work with such deep roots on the island”. Pointing to initiatives like those carried out by the farmers' co-op, or the irrigation reservoir, Escandell declared: “On Formentera we're working to restore farming to the importance it once occupied, but without our young ones—the real farmers of tomorrow—we won't get there”.

Formentera celebrates co-ops

cooperativa-1-The Formentera farmers' co-operative, or Cooperativa del Camp, announces that this Saturday October 6 the Casal d'Entitats in Sant Francesc will be ground zero of the local observance of International Co-op Day. The event is being organised by the Balearic Islands federation of co-operatives and Formentera's own farmers' co-op. Support is provided by the regional ministry of work, commerce and industry with additional help from the Formentera Council.

The programme starts 12 noon, when heads of participating organisations will oversee a welcome ceremony. The main event, a round-table discussion about legislation which casts “microco-ops” as socioeconomic drivers, will be moderated by farmers' co-op head Carlos Marí and include Enric Pozo and Jaume Orell. The event is scheduled to finish by one p.m.

Farmers look forward to cereal harvest twice as large as last year's

campanya-collita-cereal-2018-a4The Formentera Council's rural affairs office announces that the local farmers co-op has concluded harvests of cereals across 21 member fields plus those lent to it as part of the group's Cens de Terres de Cultiu (“Farmland Reserve”) project.

Harvesting across a total of 17.5 hectares (10ha of barley; 5.5ha of oats and 2ha of wheat), the co-op logged 21,100 kilograms of cereals (14 tonnes of barley, 4,100 kg of oats and three tonnes of wheat)—twice the size as last year, when Formentera was hit by a drought.

Wet weather behind success
Department head Bartomeu Escandell welcomed the campaign's success, which he held up as the product of a “wet winter and a springtime cereals harvest which has reaped double what it did last year”. Escandell called such efforts “critical for the revival of the local primary sector and the protection of Formentera's rural environment”.

Factoring in another 39.5ha of fields belonging members of the co-op, the association oversaw work on a total of 57ha. That figure doesn't include another 52ha of fodder plantations, which were harvested in May.

Given the local varieties employed proved to be the most drought resistant, the co-op plans to use the harvested cereals for local consumption and seeds for future harvests.

Formentera unlocks quarter million to refurbish and restore cultural heritage sites

Mur pedra secaThe Formentera Council's Offices of Patrimony and Rural Affairs report that applications will now be accepted for assistance to rehabilitate dry-stone walls, bury overhead utility cables and execute work on Formentera's cultural heritage sites.

In all, €250,000 will be opened up between 2018 and 2019—seventy-five thousand in 2018 and another €175,000 in 2019.

Targeted assistance
The money is intended to drive maintenance, consolidation and betterment of those sites treasured either for their significance to local heritage or from an aesthetic point of view.

For culture and heritage secretary Susana Labrador, the aid is about “showcasing our heritage and drawing on traditional strategies to care for valuable assets like dry-stone walls”.

Officials hope the money will help promote a broader awareness about the value of reclaiming original features of heritage sites that give Formentera its unique character.

Interested islanders will have until Tuesday, May 15 to submit applications to the Citizen Information Office (OAC) or the Virtual Citizen Information Office (OVAC) at www.consellinsulardeformentera.cat.

For complete details, click here.

Upgrades across heritage sites
In a bid to preserve and beautify an asset to Formentera's local landscape, the Formentera Council will oversee reforms of dry-stone walls at the entrance of el Pilar de la Mola church plaza.

Formentera lends support to local livestock farmers

Ovella reduxThe Formentera Council struck a deal today with the island's Associació de Ramaders (Association of Stockbreeders) that is aimed at promoting animal hygiene and improving productive systems. CiF president Jaume Ferrer sat down with Associació chair Alfonso Ferrer to sign the compact, which unlocks €37,000 in funding.

Under the terms of the deal, members of the league of Formentera farmers pledge to keep their livestock in sanitary conditions, up to date on vaccines, yearly parasite treatments and the health regime of the CiF's department of agriculture, livestock, fishing and hunting.

The Associació, in turn, promises to give the Council support in production, animal health and other “welfare- or identification-related actions”for the animals on farms integrated into the island's so-called Agrupació de Defensa Sanitària. Another pledge: to conduct the actions laid out annually in the so-called “common health programme”.

The league of livestock workers also agrees to continue educating member farmers on the following issues:

-Disinfecting and pest control.
-External parasite prevention for sheep, goat and pigs and internal treatment for dogs on farms.
-Full reporting in Associació's “registry of medical treatments” of medicines given to animals
-For medicines prescribed by a vet, respecting the ADS veterinary service-established treatment plan.
-Supplying complete food-chain information prior to slaughter
-Fitting abattoir-bound lambs and kids with tags containing individual farm registry codes. Tags will be supplied by the CiF Office of Agriculture, Livestock, Fishing and Hunting.
-Participate in the mandatory livestock census between January 1 and February 28.

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