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Formentera unveils depot for farmers' co-operative

cooperativa 2Formentera's agrarian co-operative, Cooperativa del Camp, belatedly celebrated the July opening of the group's warehouse space this Saturday with considerable fanfare. The €590,000 construction project, coordinated by the Formentera Council, was financed in part by the Leader programme (23%) and in part by the Council (67%).

Among the event's 200 plus attendees were Cooperativa chairman Jaume Escandell and Formentera Council president Jaume Ferrer, both of whom addressed the crowd. Another of the evening's guests, Pep de n'Andreu, in a traditional glosa, proclaimed: “Our task with the new co-operative is to continue cultivating the land, keeping it decent”.

The co-operative's managing director, Carles Marí, declared the night a success in terms of turnout and thanked “all those whose selfless collaboration had made it possible, particularly the gastronomical cooking staff and Formentera's own balladors,” referring to members of the the island's dance troupes.

Two-hundred twenty affiliated members
When the local farmers' co-op was reactivated in 2010, there were 52 names on the group's membership rolls. Today, the number is 220. The Co-op works in tandem with the Council on Fons de Terres, an initiative (roughly translated as “Farmland Reserve”) that involves stewardship of untilled local fields. With €90,000 in yearly funding from the administration, the programme aims to beautify rural landscapes. To date 70 local landowners have participated in Fons de Terres by turning over care of 200 hectares of farmland to the Cooperativa.

Renewed push to control red weevil spread

foto tractament becutThe Formentera Council's agriculture office wishes to inform island residents with palm trees at risk of infestation by the red palm weevil (rhynchophorus ferrugineus) that the adult pest's airborne activity spikes in October and November. The mature weevils set out from already heavily infested trees in search of new sources of food —healthy palm trees— to colonise.

The Formentera Council wishes to stress the importance of authorised, preventive phytosanitary treatments that can be applied in October, November and, subject to temperatures, December.

The Office of Agriculture has urged residents to avoid pruning at risk palm trees until temperatures cool, most likely in January and February, in order to capitalise on the weevil's period of relative inactivity.

Decree 04/2016 of January 29, 2016 (published January 30 in number 15 of the BOIB) designates control of this highly damaging pest as an issue of public interest.

For more information, contact the Formentera Council's Office of Agriculture.

Telephone: 971321087. Ext 3166

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.

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