food prices

On Monday (today), Government announced the extension of the “temporary” subsidy scheme, introduced in 2022, to ensure stable prices for bread, flour, and animal feed. This forms part of the budget 2024 measures, announced last month.

Upon announcement, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights Anton Refalo explained that the extension is aimed specifically at flour and cereals importers. Ultimately, the Government is aiming at stabilising food prices, in light of international pressures and conflicts.

“As a small island, Malta has been impacted more than bigger countries that have much more resources at hand,” the Minister commented.

The original subsidy scheme was launched in 2022, as a response to price hikes caused by the Russia-Ukraine War. Ukraine is behind 11 per cent of the world’s wheat market, whilst Russia accounts for 20 per cent.

Such ingredients are crucial as they make up for a wide range of food products. Additionally, animal feeds are also important to sustain local farm animals that in turn provide a number of meat products.

At the time Government allocated €10 million for the subsidy.

However, additionally, the Government offered importers to store their products at Kordin Grain Terminal. This was because Maltese importers were constrained to import small quantities because of storage and consumption limitations, along with infrastructure restrictions. This was leading to increased prices but also risked the security of supplies to the local markets.

For more information one is requested to contact the department directly by sending an email on ruralaffairs.mafa@gov.mt. Applications will be accepted by not later than noon of 15th January 2024.

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