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Rural pilot 9: Malta

Rural district description

Malta is the smallest EU country - being only 313 sq. km in size, it takes less than an hour to drive from one end of the main island to the other. Maltese agriculture faces substantial challenges caused by its peripherality, lack of natural resources, land over-development, and ultimately makes it an unattractive career prospect. There is a vital need to invest in the sector’s workforce, to support it in harnessing the opportunities of the digital revolution, and ensure the continuation of Maltese agriculture and its intrinsic ties to the islands’ landscape and cultural heritage.

Challenge description

Digital transformation and Entrepreneurial capacity building in the rural areas of Malta and Gozo (the second Maltese island) targeting the Agricultural sector. The main concept is to help "level up" the agricultural and rural sector in Malta and Gozo by providing knowledge and capacity building opportunities to improve their digitisation aspects and also to push more entrepreneurial skills towards the youth sector. Together with linking between rural-urban aspects, this should help lessen the "brain drain" that rural villages see within Malta or even towards other EU countries.


Anticipated result

From 2010 to 2020, the agricultural labour force declined by 26.7% - in 2022, there were only 1,200 registered young farmers (under 40). Our pilot will lead to capacity building activities that will enhance the digital and entrepreneurial skills of the existing workforce, through tailored and targeted capacity building interventions, in the aim of decreasing the rapid brain and skill drain from the sector and retain its value for the population.

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