17 OCTOBER 2001

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BoV seminar discusses EU impact on agricultural and agri-food sector

Dr Leonard Mizzi, Director of the Malta Business Bureau in Brussels - speaking at a seminar on Malta’s EU Membership and the potential implications on Agriculture and Agri-Business for BoV managers - highlighted the importance of Agriculture within the European Union. This sector, he explains, absorbs around 50 per cent of the EU budget. He said that in Malta the share of agriculture in GDP is three per cent, which is comparable to the EU-15 average. The share is much higher in certain central and eastern European countries around 20 per cent in Bulgaria and Romania.

Dr Mizzi explained the structure of the Maltese agricultural sector, including a high level of land fragmentation and the need of further investment in this sector. He highlighted that Malta is an importer of practically all agricultural products except for exports of Spring potatoes and some processed agri-food products.

Following a detailed presentation on the origins of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), how this has evolved over the years, and the reforms identified by Agenda 2000, Dr Mizzi showed how the Maltese Agricultural sector and the objectives of the EU’s CAP are asymmetrical.

Dr Mizzi concluded by saying that major policy reforms are required in the agricultural sector. A holistic approach is needed where the final objective is to have a sustainable agricultural sector which provides a decent income to the operators across the food chain and products which are safe and of high quality.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt