Within the frames of the two-year SYNECO project that is coordinated by the Farmers Central Cooperative Society Ltd (FCCS) and co-funded by EU, ORGANE shall provide expertise to enhance the recycling of manure nutrients to the benefit of environment, nature and climate, as well as to reduce costs for and dependency on mineral fertilisers.
Malta is with an area of 316 km2
one of the smallest EU Member States, but has with about 465,000 inhabitants in the same time one of highest population densities in the World. Malta consists of the main Malta island, the smaller Gozo island plus a number of other islands. Its agriculture is dominated by small fields, where mediterranean crops like olives, grapes and vegetables plays a large role. There is about 152 pig farms with 77,000 pigs and about 394 cattle farms with 19,500 heads, 40 per cent of which are dairy cattle. Malta is self-sufficient in the production of most vegetables, milk and eggs but partially depends on imports when it comes to meat, wine and potatoes. Current manure management practices are costly and not sustainable. It is for instance a common practice to clean stables with water and lead the effluents to municipal wastewater treatment plants. A newsletter of August 2021 from the National Rural Network Managing Authority of the Government of Malta
explains in more details about the SYNECO project as well as related activities in Malta.
ORGANE's role is to work for a higher NPC recycling in Malta farming, based on the manure processing that SYNECO establish. This includes identification and demonstration of methods for Malta crop and vegetable farmers' optimal use of these end and byproducts. SYNECO has direct participation of livestock farms and will to a large extent work with activities that engage members of the FCCS, such as field trials, demonstrations and trainings. ORGANE will for this employ CropManager
for online Integrated Nutrient Management at farms. The online tool is currenlty being revised, among other to enable its use under farming conditions with several crop rotations per year. ORGANE will also use the scientific knowledge to manure processing and its end and byproducts that is held in AgroTechnologyATLAS
, and extent it with relevant information from the SYNECO project.