Tomato growers to benefit from €500,000 scheme
The time from when tomatoes are harvested to the moment of canning is less than 24 hours whilst abroad, this process might span over three days , Minister George Pullicino said, adding that this is the secret behind better quality.
George Pullicino explained how tomato growers for the next three years will benefit from a scheme of €500,000 annually in order to further guarantee and better the quality of locally produced tomatoes from the time they are harvested until they reach the consumer.
The Minister said that scheme is aimed to better the final product the tomatoes will be used for. Scientific studies done by MRRA show that that compared with foreign produced tomatoes, the local harvest is of much higher quality.
There are currently five organisations of tomato producers and three tomato processors, with whom discussions will be held in the following weeks in order to further tweak the scheme launched today. This year witnessed 6200 tons of tomatoes harvested by 211 farmers to be used for processing. For the past two years, Malta has not had any reports of the reappearance of the tuta absoluta pest which had afflicted the tomato sector in 2010.
At the same time a number of new greenhouses are being constructed at the Ghammieri Center in which extensive research on tomato production will be held.