Common Market Organisation

Common Market Organisation


Nationally Funded Schemes

Fertiliser Voucher Scheme

The agricultural sector has been facing serious difficulties for a number of months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the rise in shipping costs. Furthermore, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has created additional market disturbance and impacted severely farmers’ costs of production as both Russia and Ukraine are main suppliers of fertilisers. Due to the ongoing conflict, supply is very low whilst demand has increased. This has resulted in a sharp increase in fertiliser prices.

In order to mitigate the increase in prices, the Maltese Government through the Agriculture and Rural Payments Agency, will be launching a Scheme granting aid to farmers through a system of vouchers intended to subsidise the purchase of fertilisers, thereby reducing the financial burden on the agriculture sector which will be redeemable until 31st December 2022.

In this regard, an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the participation of retail outlets has been launched on 2nd September 2022 until 16th September 2022 and interested applicants are invited to get in touch with the Agency via telephone on 22 926 148 or via email at​ and request the required consent form.

The EU financial support under the common organisation of the markets in agricultural products (CMO) is provided through three different schemes in Malta, described below.

Temporary State Aid to Swine Co-operatives because of difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic

Agricultural production in Malta is characterised by a constant production throughout the year which peaks during the spring. The different agriculture activities done by the different producers across all sectors feed into various supply chains built on a variety of business models including direct selling, production intended for processing, open markets and mass catering establishments where the vast majority is dictated by demand from local consumption. Local supply is predominantly geared on delivering fresh produce and local operators’ access to processing for the extension of the shelf life of primary produce is limited. 

Livestock sectors are dependent on a mix of domestically grown fodder crops as well as feed made from imported cereals, with costs for animal nutrition being among the three highest in the EU on account of Malta’s insularity. These sectors are thus vulnerable to exogenous shocks including market disturbance and adverse climate events. The agriculture sector is being affected very negatively in terms of both more frequent heatwaves and prolonged droughts, and more cogently the protracted impact of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Tourism, a sector which is a significant contributor to the Maltese economy, has been hit heavily by the pandemic with the number of tourists coming to Malta significantly hit when compared to pre-pandemic levels.  

These factors have negatively impacted the sector on several fronts. The limitation on out-of-home catering, the limitation of public gatherings and the disruption of the tourism industry influenced the demand and as a result the value of production has been affected due to oversupply. Co-operatives in the sector have to undergo significant efforts to adjust to this rapidly changing and challenging economic environment whilst seeking to find alternative points of sale even if at times unfavourable. At the same time, the restriction on freedom of movement of goods and individuals, which also effected the changes in labour patterns of both permanent and seasonal labourers have put a strain to the agricultural industry in having to adjust to this new reality. An adjustment that has had an impact on financial resources, time and effort of the farmers and farmers organisations. 

In the light of these events, the Government intends to issue direct aid to partially support the income of swine co-operatives in the context of sudden unforeseen market shock directly attributed to COVID-19.

Private Storage Aid Scheme - Pigmeat

The pig meat sector has been in serious difficulties for a number of months. Severe slowdown of EU exports to China, the further spread of African Swine Fever to more Member States and the continuing impact of COVID-19 restrictions are causing pressure on the Union market for slaughtered pigs.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has created additional market disturbance and impacted severely the Union pig meat exports. As a result, there has been a sharp drop of export demand for certain pig meat products.

In order to reduce the current supply-demand imbalance, the European Union has seen it appropriate to grant aid for private storage for pig meat and to fix the amount of aid in advance.

In this regard, a call for applications​ has been launched as of 25th March 2022 until the 29th April 2022. 

Aid to Beekeepers

Honeybees constitute an invaluable resource to the local agricultural community and also to the wider environment. This is mainly due to the fact that they are known to be important pollinators of many horticultural crops and wild flora. The Maltese Islands have long enjoyed a reputation for the high quality of honey that honeybees produce, especially the wild thyme honey (Thymus capitatus) variety from the garigue terrains of the North-western parts of the Maltese Islands.

Environmental degradation and the spread of disease, including in particular the spread of varroasis, are serious problems being faced by local beekeepers and which contribute to declining bee populations and reduction of honey yields. Declining bee populations subsequently also have a detrimental effect on agricultural production.

Against this backdrop, an ‘Aid to Beekeepers’ scheme was set up offering financial and other support for the control of varroasis, rationalisation of transhumance, support laboratories that analyse honey, restocking of hives, provide support through technical assistance for training materials, publications and seminars to beekeepers and grouping of beekeepers, and cooperation with specialized bodies for the implementation of applied research programmes in the field of beekeeping and apiculture products. 

This scheme has a budget of €28,274 per year and is co-funded by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and the Government of Malta at a rate of 50%.

School Scheme 2017-2023

Ninu Bninu MAscot

Children’s consumption of fruit, vegetables and milk in Malta has slowly been declining over the past years. A low intake of fruit and vegetables contributes to a poor diet which in turn, may be one of the key elements of obesity, long recognised as the cause of several diseases. Milk and milk products are widely known to contain important vitamins and minerals and are considered to form an important part of a balanced diet, whilst also being requisites for a healthy lifestyle. Research indicates that a low intake of milk contributes to a poor diet and this is one of the key contributing elements to obesity and is also known to exacerbate various other ailments.

Within this context, Malta’s National Strategy is to encourage healthy lifestyles and the creation of a social environment that supports health while complementing strategies being adopted by the National Health Authorities. In this regard, the School Scheme 2017-2023, has the overall objective of organising and implementing a focused national campaign aimed at substantially increasing the share of fruit, vegetables and milk in children’s diets as they are growing up and when their eating and drinking habits are still developing. This represents an investment in the future, primarily by helping to avoid or reduce health-related expenditure resulting from ailments caused by a poor diet. Thus, within this broad objective, the School Scheme, which is administered by the Agriculture and Rural Payments Agency (ARPA), provides for weekly free distribution of fresh fruit and/or vegetable and milk products to all children aged between 3 and 11 years, whose schools are participating in the scheme, being state and non-state schools. This scheme is being co-financed by the European Union through the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF), and by the Maltese Government.

The unforeseen circumstances experienced during scholastic year 2019-2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic saw the closure of educational establishments across the islands and increased importance of minimising social contact to prevent further spread. As a result, this Scheme has been presented with new challenges which have generated the need to revise the implementation of this Scheme, particularly to ensure the feasibility of achieving its objective of providing school children with regular portions of milk and to promote the consumption of such products.

With this in mind, the Milk part of the School Scheme has been updated to a system based on the distribution of vouchers. Parents/Guardians of pupils between the ages of 3 and 11 were asked to register their children via an online lin​k​  in order to receive a set of vouchers, each of which entitles the participating pupils to one portion of 500ml Benna Fresh Milk 2.5% fat per week. 

school milk scheme participation form 


The Milk vouchers are colour-coded by month in order to clearly indicate during which month they will be valid and can be exchanged at a list of grocers and supermarkets found in Malta and Gozo through the following link​

The switch to this new voucher system resulted in participating school children being given double the amount of milk portions which they were entitled to in previous years, while also providing flexibility with respect to collecting the portions at their convenience from any of the participating retail outlets.

For further information ARPA can be reached via telephone on 22926148. 

Click on the banner below to view submissions by children participation in the School Scheme Mascot Competition.

Mascot Design Competition ​