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Conversations with Maltese Farmers – Victor


My name is Victor, I’ve been coming to this
land for around 40 years. We have 29 tumoli of land here. We have a farmhouse in which
we keep our machinery and tools, greenhouses, trees, and we grow a little of everything. My name is Nadia, I’m Victor’s wife. I have two sons, Jean Paul and Neil. My name is Jean Paul, I am 12 years old and I have been
coming here since I was two. I come here everyday in summer and on weekends in winter
since I have school. This week we planted many things fennel, spinach,
kohlrabi, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage,
parsley and celery. [This year] We harvested
35 tonnes of tomatoes, potatoes for export, around 300 sacks. We grow vegetables such as
cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi, lettuce. A road is going to be built
through the farmhouse, dividing our land. We have no idea how we will
get out of the farmhouse to get into the other field. The greenhouses will be removed, as will the water reservoirs
and a borehole. We still have no solid information. It will affect our water, because all our water is in the area
where the road should be passing. We have no idea what
is going to happen as without irrigation,
you can’t grow anything these days. We have these pomegranate trees
which we have been taking care of for 20 years, and they will disappear. We don’t even have an idea of
where the bypass will be exactly. We have not yet been given the lines
marking the roads over here. I know that this area
we are currently in will definitely be affected, but
I have no idea how much. My son was raised in these fields and he really loves being here, this is why we are so hurt about
this road passing through here, as he would love to follow in
his father’s footsteps. We make our family’s living
from this land, so we naturally have
strong feelings about all this. I think that farming is declining, we have no future in this industry,
thanks to all that is happening… roads going through fields and no one cares about it. Very soon there will be nothing left. The last few elderly farmers will stop
working and that will be the end of it. Maltese produce is sweeter than
what we get from abroad, if no one grows this any longer we will end up picking up
the scraps from Sicily. What we must do
is take better care of farmers rather than kicking them
when they are down by turning every piece of
roadside farmland into tarmac.

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