The Maltese government will begin offering legal assistance to farmers at risk of eviction from privately leased agricultural land.
The Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food, and Animal Rights will be assisting those farmers who are being faced with this problem by providing technical and legal support to alleviate the financial burden.
“The government believes that the agricultural sector is essential for the country and plays a multifunctional role, ranging from food production to environmental conservation,” the government said today.
“In this regard, the government has a duty to support the agriculture sector through policies that guarantee the continuity of farming and ensure an adequate level of income for farmers, hence why this initiative has been put forward with others to follow.”
The incentive is available for farmers involved in ongoing court cases, those notified of a court case, or those whose landlord has not accepted the annual rent.
Farmers affected by this will be provided with legal assistance to represent them in court, with the Ministry also offering assistance in depositing the rent in court on their behalf, as long as they are registered with the Agriculture Directorate.
The services offered will be provided through the Ministry’s Agriculture Advisory Services (AgriConnect).
Farming is currently being threatened by the possible eviction of farmers from privately rented land following the “J&C Properties Limited vs Nazzareno Pulis and Others” judgment from the Constitutional Court issued on 23th November, 2020
The judgment found that the Agricultural Leases (Reletting) Act (Chapter 199) violates the fundamental rights to the enjoyment of the property for the landlord.
Request for support to benefit from technical or legal advice related can be made by contacting AgriConnect on 21804981/2/4 or via email on [email protected] or by visiting one of the offices in Mellieħa, Qormi, Żabbar or Victoria, Gozo.
The announcement comes as the Nationalist Party spoke out about the matter yesterday, calling out the government for not acting on the issue sooner.
The PN criticised the idea, saying that it’s useless if the government assists a case if it’s just going to be lost.
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