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

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».

Small game hunting season open through 3 January

vedats Fomentera 2015 premsaThe Formentera office of rural affairs announced today that as of yesterday, Sunday 18 October, until 3 January, will be open season on small game hunting in Formentera. Regulations in place, which allow hunting on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays as well as national and regional holidays, also establish the specific hours of the day when it be done: from half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset.

Formentera has got six hunting seasons, and three hunting clubs: La Mola, Es Cap and Porto Salè. It is worth remembering that hunting with firearms is expressly prohibited within 100 metres of inhabited areas or 25 metres of public arterials. Hunting is also prohibited along areas of public coastline and around water reservoirs.

Huntable species
Animals that can be hunted locally this season are rabbit, hare, quail, partridge, pheasant, wood pigeon, common turtledove, collared turtledove, Eurasian woodcock, starling, thrush, mistle thrush, “grívia” and fieldfare. The following waterfowl can also be hunted: mallard, Eurasian wigeon, northern pintail, Eurasian teal, garganey, northern shoveler, gadwall, common pochard, tufted duck, common snipe, Eurasian coot and common seagull.

Hunting with dogs
A maximum of 10 dogs per hunter – or 12 dogs per two hunters – must be respected. Only in the case of special authorization may four hunters use up to 40 dogs on a hunt.

The maximum number of animals that can be caught, per hunter per day, are: 20 thrush, 12 wild turtledove, 4 Eurasian woodcock, 2 partridge if caught using a decoy and 4 without, 8 anatidae (birds of the duck, goose and swan family) and a maximum of 2 of other duck species. It is prohibited to practise blind or standing hunting for capture of the Eurasian woodcock.

For more information, please visit this link for Formentera’s complete hunting regulations:

http://conselldeformentera.cat:2095/cpsess7399536283/3rdparty/roundcube/?_task=mail&_action=get&_mbox=INBOX&_uid=21570&_part=3&_frame=1&_extwin=1

Farmland reserve swells to more than 100 hectares

rp cens terresThe councillor of rural affairs, Bartomeu Escandell, explained today that after six months in operation, the Cens de Terres de Cultiu programme (roughly translated as 'farmland reserve') has acquired 105 hectares for cultivation this winter by the Formentera farmers' collective. Escandell thanked Formentera residents for participating by donating their unused land, which will now serve for the further beautification of the Formentera countryside and —quite literally— bear the fruits that will revive the primary sector of the local economy.

The councillor encouraged other owners of unused plots to cede them for tilling by the farmers' cooperative. He noted that donated plots typically remain in the cooperative's possession for a period of three to five years and that, in addition to being cost-free for the owners, the process results in material returns — «including money saved on maintenance costs, improvements to the land and discounts on products and services from the cooperative».

Developing the agricultural sector
Councillor Escandell emphasised the goal of the cooperative is to «provide local products for the farmers' market, streamline the revival of Formentera's primary sector and supply the service sector». In 2015, the Formentera Council put forward €95,000 to fund the start of activity at the cooperative. The group also required an investment of €590,000 — a third of the money came from the Leader programme and the rest were provided by the Formentera Council — to fund construction of the group's warehouse space, which Escandell announced would be ready before year end.

For his part, Carlos Marí, the cooperative's head manager, explained that 46 property owners have signed up for the reserve, with the 105 hectares of donated land coming from a total of 68 different plots. Mr Marí explained that the cooperative is currently getting the land ready for sowing operations in November and December. According to the group's head, plans are to sow mostly local flora, including barley and wheat. He confided: «The objective is to supply local stockbreeders with the feed they currently must buy from non-local sources», thus reaching self-sufficiency for the island's livestock animal feed.

Temporary authorisation given for hunting of wood pigeon

The Formentera Council's office of rural affairs announced today that, for questions of population control and the protection of local crops, the office would grant an exceptional and temporary authorisation for certain types of hunting. Sundays and Thursdays until 16 August, from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 to 9 p.m., the hunting of a particular type of pigeon—the wood pigeon, or ringdove—will be permitted on established game reserves.

The goal of the action, according to rural affairs councillor Bartomeu Escandell, is “to assure the adequate protection of those crops—namely grapes—that can be negatively impacted by this species of pigeon whose population has spiked locally in recent years”. As Escandell concluded, “the move falls within the CiF's programme of rural renewal and represents one method of guarding against plagues that impede that renewal”.

Fons de Terres programme counts 21 lots among reserve

fons terres290415This week, a joint project of the Formentera farmers cooperative and Formentera Council known as Fons de Terres (meaning 'farmland reserve') took a leap forward with the annexation of five new parcels of donated land. Shortly after the project's review board gave the go-ahead for the addition, farmers cooperative head Carlos Marí announced: “With these five parcels—a combined 68,000 square metres—the total area of reclaimed land stands at 242,000 sq. m.”

The donated lots are situated at different points across the island in vénda de sa Punta (4), es Ca Marí (4), Porto Salé (5), vénda del Molí de s'Estany (2), Es Cap de Barbaria (4), Es Brolls (1) and La Mola (1). Work has already begun on 6 of the 21 parcels now registered. The farmers cooperative has reported that crops will be sown in November and December.

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