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

Help for island's coalition of livestock farmers

Foto signatura conveni ramadersThe administration has formalised a partnership agreement with Formentera's group of livestock farmers to bolster measures like animal sanitation and production systems upgrades. The deal signed by Council chair Jaume Ferrer and Jaume Tur, head of Associació de Ramaders de Formentera, lays the groundwork for funding of up to €37,000.

Under the pact the association commits to steps such as yearly vaccines and parasite treatments to ensure proper animal hygiene and uphold directives of Formentera's Office of Agriculture, Livestock, Fish and Hunting.

In addition to support for production, animal sanitation and other issues of animal health and identification across the group's network of member farms, the Associació pledges to apply measures agreed on at yearly meetings to develop common policy.

The coalition promises to continue educating member farmers about the tasks expected of individual farmers. These include:

-Disinfecting and pest removal.
-External treatment of parasites across sheep, goat and pig holdings and internal treatments of farm dogs.
-Tracking medicines given to productive animals on a log of medical treatments.
-Respecting medical indications prescribed by the group's veterinary service.
-Keeping food chain data for a forthcoming guidebook governing Formentera's abattoir
-Ear-tag identification with farm code for every head of livestock marked for slaughter. Ear tags will be supplied by CiF Office of Agriculture, Livestock, Fish and Hunting.
-Providing data for the census of livestock farm animals between January 1 and the final day of February.

Formentera's fishing and marine reserves

Foto flota pesquera formenteraThe Formentera Council department of fishing has joined forces with GEN-GOB to host a presentation this Friday of the island's fishing and marine reserves. The event starts at 11.00am in the CiF's new plenary hall, located in the Formentera day care centre in the Vénda des Brolls area of Sant Francesc.

“We put together this event to better understand how management of our marine spaces and natural resources is changing,” said rural affairs councillor Bartomeu Escandell, “the goal being to become more in tune with European regulations and promote our own sustainability.” The councillor said talk would also turn on regenerating fishing resources to protect Formentera's local fleet of fishermen.

Following an introduction, the day will begin with a report by TRAGSATEC employee Pep Coll on Formentera's marine environment and eligibility for marine reserve status.

Two round-table discussions—at 12.30pm on marine reserves and protected undersea areas and 4.00pm on the trade's political considerations—will precede a 6.30pm expert-led discussion on scientific concerns. The day's closing ceremony will take place at 8.30pm. 

Cases of palms with red weevil infestation drop 23 per cent

foto presentacio balanc becut vermellBartomeu Escandell, the rural affairs councillor of the Formentera Council (CiF), together with Laura Pérez, operations manager of CiF Office of Agriculture, and Juan Argente, works technician at GRUPO TRAGSA, shared their assessment of the push to eradicate the red palm weevil from Formentera.

Escandell underscored a more than 23 per cent reduction in affected trees since 2015 and a one quarter drop in the total weevil population. The encouraging figures indicate that sustained efforts to wipe out the pest —the campaign is currently running a €46,000 tab, with €16k from the Govern and another €28k of the Council's money— is worthwhile.

That money has provided renewed steam to the measures that began in 2014 and helped cut costs (between €150 and €200 per tree) for private citizens treating palms affected by the pest. The response has turned on more stringent checks of imported trees, technical support for homeowners, practical training and professional consultancy, adjustments made to permit granting, preventive treatment on trees in public areas, tracking purchases from garden centres and an awareness raising campaign.

The response has also entailed field surveys, which have put the number of palm trees at 4,508 locally, as well as efforts to detect affected palms, monitor work of trained professionals and collect and dispose of associated waste not to mention maintaining traps to track population changes and carry out mass captures of adult weevils.

Traps and affected palms
In 2015, two-thousand twenty-one weevils were caught after traps were placed across the island as part of a four-month campaign. This year the efforts were extended across 12 months and ended in 1,721 insects being captured, or 22.5 per cent less than the previous year. As for the number of trees affected by the weevil, the 2015 figure of 159 stands against 122 affected this year — 23.7 per cent less.

The figures point to a turnaround in the trend of the pest's dispersal and a hampering of the exponential growth for which it is known. The island's weevil numbers have slumped at the same time that costs facing owners of infected palms have fallen as well. In addition, the representatives highlighted improvements made in waste management at Formentera's rubbish tip.

The officials recommended continuing current efforts, intensifying them in spots where the pest is less pervasive and cordoning off areas of priority control in an effort eliminate the pest from them in the short term. Aside from recommending the traps be maintained in zones where the weevils are most prevalent, the officials pointed to the possibility of testing other types of traps as well, some of them commercially-available.

“Farmland Reserve, a year in photos” drops in at la Mola's community centre

foto inauguracio mostra cens de terresYesterday, Sunday December 18, the Formentera Council's Office of Agriculture invited islanders to come out for the opening of Farmland Reserve, a year in photos at la Mola's Casa del Poble. Following exhibition at the municipal gallery in Sant Francesc, the stop in la Mola is aimed at bringing the show to many of the protagonists that constitute it. CiF president Jaume Ferrer and rural affairs councillor Bartomeu Escandell were joined at the event by other officials and residents of the area.

Eva Parey's collection of photos focusses on the maiden year of a project known as Cens de Terres de Cultiu (roughly translatable as “farmland reserve”). The initiative, which the Council has undertaken together with the local farmers' co-operative, is designed to revive Formentera's primary sector and conserve local landscapes. A video was screened during the presentation which paired a review of the previous year's work with poetry from Marià Villangómez and music from UC and Aires Formenterencs.

Council drives push for land-use inspections

MIRADOR PREMSAThe Formentera Council's Office of Land has announced the December start of a push to ensure compliance with urban and rural land-use regulations. At this morning's announcement, CiF land councillor Alejandra Ferrer pointed out that “inspections will focus on illegal construction projects, illegal storage units and construction material, waste and abandoned or stored vehicles on rural plots”.

Crews will highlight any and all activity “that contributes to environmental destruction or violates of land-use regulations”. The controls, explained Ferrer, are part of an effort to beautify the local rural landscape and thwart illegal activity on rural land.

The Council's land office will contact the chamber of commerce and the association of small and medium-sized businesses and request their help sharing information about the campaign.

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