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Adding voice to global salute, Formentera celebrates work of rural women

cartell 2020 expo dona mon ruralFor International Day of Rural Women on Thursday 15 October, Consell de Formentera premiere Alejandra Ferrer and rural affairs chief Josep Marí visited the photo exhibit Homenatge a la dona de Formentera en el món rural (Tribute to the rural women of Formentera) on day-one of the show’s run at Centre Antoni Tur “Gabrielet” in Sant Francesc. The display will be on view 9.00am to 2.00pm, Monday to Saturday, until 31 October.

Homenatge... offers a selection of 26 photos capturing rural women of Formentera in an array of situations. Pulled from the Consell’s image and sound archive, Arxiu d’Imatge i So, the prints were taken between 1950 and present day by Pere Català i Roca, Helga Sittl, Melba Levick, Rafael Bataller i Giralt and contributors to past editions of the Beni Trutmann photo contest.

President Ferrer said the show was about spotlighting the vast range of tasks which have historically fallen to the island’s rural women — “figures whose celebration was long overdue”, asserted Ferrer. The president also underscored commonalities in the work overseen by women past and present: “What in the olden days was a woman spinning wool while rocking her baby today would be a woman working virtually while doing her best to keep her kids entertained”. “These are stories that reoccur”, Ferrer said, “and they attest to the important place of women in the past and present. But they also speak to the importance of carrying on the fight for equality between men and women”. Conseller Marí, for his part, said the display sought “to pay tribute to the rural women of Formentera and to showcase the multifunctionality of their work”.

15 October 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Consell lends farmers’ co-op storage unit and grain silo

foto 2020 coop campAs part of a deal signed into action by Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer and Cooperativa del Camp chairman Jaume Escandell, the local farmers’ co-operative can use a storage station and grain silos belonging to the Formentera government.

Ferrer and Escandell were joined by primary sector conseller Josep Marí and the co-op’s director, Carlos Marí, on a visit of the station, which is made up of three 45m3 silos, a receiving hopper and a grain distributor.

President Ferrer highlighted the Consell’s longstanding commitment to helping the agrarian collective breathe fresh life into local agriculture. “It’s a mission that means more now than ever before, because during confinement we saw first hand how important it was to be able to meet our own needs for certain products”, she offered.

Escandell, for his part, described the structure as a potential path to self-sufficiency in terms of grain and feed needs on the island. The co-op chairman said that islanders have continued to entrust the co-op with parcels of land, and pointed out that Formentera is on track to producing enough grain to keep Formentera livestock fed.

Associated costs
The purchase and installation of the silos and hopper, not to mention of the electrical panel  powering the refrigerating unit and grain elevator, cost €146,330.96. The effort to reinvigorate Formentera’s farming sector receives 80% of its funding from the LEADER fund; the remainder is paid for by the Consell de Formentera.

30 June 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Consell de Formentera gives farmers’ co-op €52,000 to help reinvigorate local agriculture

Foto signatura conveni Cooperativa Camp 2020Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer and Jaume Escandell, chief of the island’s agricultural co-operative (Cooperativa del Camp), have signed into action a collaborative accord worth €52,000. The aim of the assistance is to help the Cooperativa del Camp develop actions around the public programme to revive Formentera’s farming sector and beautify the local rural environment in 2020.

The programme was created to drive the local regrowth of agricultural activity, with all the economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits that come with it. Priority is placed on recovery actions and upgrades on parcels of land which were donated to the group’s “farmland reserve” (cens de terres) initiative, as well as the agrarian revival of a lot in Can Marroig, although the pact signed today includes all of the Cooperativa’s regrowth and improvement efforts generally.

The Consell de Formentera signs a yearly pledge of coordinated action with the farmers’ co-operative to advance the local primary sector; last year’s pact carried with it €115,000 in assistance. While the 2020 pledge is expected to be accompanied by a support package of €130,000, the state of emergency has made signing of the deal temporarily impossible. In the interim, today’s pact was aimed at helping the Cooperativa remain economically viable and operational.

25 May 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Info session on money for forest buffer zones, recovering agrarian traditions

triptic-ajudes-forestals1This Wednesday 5 February at 9.00am, islanders are invited to the central offices of local government for an information session on funding for forest fire prevention in 2019-2020. Organisers describe the target audience as property owners near forested areas, members of the island’s farmers’ co-operative, biomass handlers and the public at large.

Speakers include Krystelle Roussel of the Agrarian and Fishing Guarantee Fund of the Balearic Islands (FOGAIBA) and Inés Landa of the Costa da Morte forest management service. FOGAIBA has pledged to give islands in the archipelago €1.7 million or more to manage forest parcels in areas where forest fires pose a medium- to high-risk.

Funding may cover up to 80% of total management costs (85% if there is a current plan for management and development of forested area), with consideration given to investments of up to €30,000. Applications will be accepted until 28 February 2020 and questions as to application procedure will be fielded at the meeting.

The money is intended to help individuals get ahead of an array of issues like creating preventive buffer zones and clearings in forest cover; maintaining buffer zones already in place by removing or pruning trees or by upturning soil near forest undergrowth; and managing trees affected by natural disasters. Funding for the recuperation of agrarian traditions will also be discussed.

31 January 2020
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Agriculture minister logs first official visit to Formentera

foto-visita-bassa-de-reg-1-1Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer visited the island’s irrigation pond today with Mae de la Concha, chief of the Balearic office of agriculture. Other officials at the gathering included local councillors of environment and the primary sector, Antonio J Sanz and Josep Marí, respectively, as well as the heads of the regional government’s agriculture and water resource divisions (Gabriel Torrens and Joana Garau, respectively) and the managing director of Balearic Agency for Water and Environmental Quality (Abaqua), Guillem Rosselló.

Hailing De la Concha’s visit, Ferrer insisted that “the proper working order of the irrigation pond is crucial for Formentera because it enables us to close the water cycle”. The minister, for her part, pointed out that €94k already set aside in the 2020 budgets is intended so that only the highest quality water gets to local fields.

Purification plant expansion
Attendees also spoke about projects to equip Es Ca Marí with sanitation and upgrade the waste water pump in Es Pujols. The Abaqua chief said increasing capacity at the water treatment station known as “Edar” to 3,500 cubic metres would mean waste water from Es Ca Marí could be treated as well. Decision makers say that those measures, taken together, are key to making sure infrastructure works properly, and that the water ending up in fields and at the drainage pipe is clean—essential to closing the water cycle properly.

Ferrer identified high-grade water as vital to the Formentera government’s commitment to the local farming (in the past, that support has taken the form of reactivating the co-operative of Formentera farmers, in 2010, or creating the Farmland Reserve, in 2015). “So many fields that had sat fallow have been turned over to the co-operative so they can be tilled again; it’s a way to maintain our original natural beauty and reactivate the countryside”, she concluded.

29 January 2020
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

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