Malta’s foremost agricultural expert blames the unfavourable spring weather for the fact that popular summer fruit (like plums and peaches) are in shorter supply than the norm this year. Malcolm Borg, who heads Mcast’s Centre for Agriculture told that farmers across the island had reported relatively low yields of local summer fruit this year, to their disappointment.
This year's European apple production is expected to come to 10,556,000 tons. That is 20% less than last year. It is also 8% less than the average over the past three years. The European pear harvest is expected to be 2,047,000 tons. This is 14% lower than last year and 9% less than the previous three seasons average. These figures are according to the World Apple and Pear Association, WAPA's top fruit prognoses.
The state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) plans to expand crop insurance to cover fruit and dairy farming in response to farmers' interest in protection against natural disasters. The bank is conducting a study to offer crop insurance for durian, even though the fruit's price remains high, said executive vice-president Somkiat Kimawaha.
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