Agriculture And Food Production In Malta Assessment Answer

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Question :

Food production and consumption


The case study is an essay focussing on a particular aspect of food production or consumption. You are required to select an appropriate focus for your case-study such as a specific food production method, an example of food or diet legislation or policy, or an example of a food-related community or grass-root movement, and critically apprise your chosen case-study to analyse its impact on sustainable food production or consumption. You are asked to appraise the impact of the production method, policy or movement on sustainable food production or consumption now and its potential to contribute towards sustainability in the future. The chosen case-study should be explicitly related to the module learning outcomes (see above). You are encouraged to use a variety of information sources ranging from newspaper articles, industry reports, government reports and statistics through to peer-reviewed literature. You will of course be expected to rely more heavily on the peerreviewed literature as reliable sources of information and treat other sources with due caution. To help students understand the requirements of the assignment, the Module Leader and personal tutors will be available to support students through the process of selecting their case-study. When considering information, ensure that you have a questioning attitude to published statements. Are they true? In what context are they true? What other evidence supports or contradicts them? How do you know it is not someone’s opinion dressed up as fact? Do not be tempted to find studies that support your preconceptions about the topic, and be prepared to be proved right, wrong or somewhere in between! Let the evidence lead you. Try not to cite CAT lecturers, or the lectures themselves, just the evidence within them, i.e. find the original reference for the point being made. If you have to cite a lecture, do it in the Harvard style. You may find including data as tables or graphs useful, or even diagrams and photos. Make sure that all tables are labelled as ‘Table 1….”, “Table 2…” etc., and that all graphs, diagrams and pictures or photos are labelled as “Figure 1…”, Figure 2….etc.”. Ensure that they are only included in your essay if they are truly useful and you refer to them in your text. The Table or Figure heading should consist of the table or figure number and full description of what is being shown, and a citation if the table or figure has been taken from somewhere. Such labels go at the top for tables and at the bottom for figures.

case study is attached to be added in question section along with below description:

case study should aim at shwoing these learning outcomes

Have a deep conceptual understanding of the complex interplay between global and local food
markets, vertical integration of agriculture, consumer diets and health, ‘food sovereignty’, the impact of
machinery and transportation, economics, labour and environmental externalities on the sustainable
production of food.
2. Critically evaluate how current markets, policies and consumer behaviour could change to result in
greater sustainability in food production and resource use.
3. Critically evaluate approaches to sustainable food production and resource management using realworld examples.
4. Have critical and deep understanding of key theories, ideas and models in sustainable food production.

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Answer :

Agriculture and food production in Malta


Through this assignment, the purpose is to understand agriculture and food production within Malta country. The Malta economy is known to be the wide placed economy with the 13,000 hectares of agricultural land. The agriculture economy of Malta’s food producers has also contributed significantly to the consumer age of mass-production along wth the processed ready meals. The main strength of the Malta Island is the production of specialty food, for example, the gourmet enriching food that is specially catered to the consumers in Europe and Asia (Xiang, 2020). The food production and associating it with the gourmet food production has helped to place itself by preserving and promoting Malta’s local along with the small-scale food producers. At the same time, Malta agriculture producers ensure to produce as per the consumer tastes, needs and preferences and delivering an authentic natural food to the local and global people.

As observed, Malta people are the high-end consumers and enthusiasts of the Mediterranean diet. The specialty sector focuses on the products such as the olive oil, includes the sun-dried tomatoes along with the fig jam and goat’s cheese. The agriculture also involves the potential integration of the aquaculture along with cultivating the seafood.

Maltese Agriculture and Food production Set up

Global & Local food markets

Malta's agricultural sector is known to be a small scale which accounts for about 2.8 percent of GDP, and it is considered to be a diverse economy. The economy also has the potential which employs 5 percent of workers within the agriculture and cultivates approximately 10 square kilometers (3.9 square miles) of the land through the consistent irrigation. As per 2018, the exports totaled US$42.1 million, in comparison to the imports which have contributed to a total of US$304 million (Said, 2020)

Since 1995 the agriculture has declined at a consistent rate of the10.3 percent, and it is steeply declining further.Malta economy country contribution

Malta economy country contribution, Source (Schulman, 2020)

From table 1, the Maltese agro-food industry one of the smallest contributions that have equated to the comparison from the European neighbors. So far, the agricultural production along with the fisheries have been considered to be approximately at the 2% of Malta’s GDP and it contributes to the 2.9% of total employment, salary the economy has remained oriented to the industry which has remained one of the culturally important to the economy (Schulman, 2020). It includes the 80% of the island's which includes the food requirements that has been consistently been imported, but still, the agriculture has also remained one of the important sectors within the economy that has employed approximately 18,500 people. Within the economy, there 90% of the part-time farmers, that can have contributed to the fishing industry and it involves the minority of Malta's 2,000 registered fishermen who consistently been earning a livelihood in the sea. So far, the farms have also shown on an average size of 1.2 hectares, and it has also registered to the smaller size then average agricultural (Jafari, 2020). The Maltese people have shown the main crops to be as vegetables and fruits. So far, the country has also registered to be a small livestock sector and it has shown a skewed dairy farming for the local consumption.

Vertical Integration of Agriculture

Land inheritance is passed through the vertical structure (parents to siblings) and it is not integrated through the horizontally in between the children. The vertical integration also involves a limited upward and downward integration, such as the backward has the low scope of an acquaintance of land from the ancestral, while the forward supply of the food production from agriculture is limited to the Maltese market and to the exports business.  

Food sovereignty

Maltese farms are known to be small and privately owned farms. The crops and the foodstuffs for the basic consumption are domestically produced and it involves the cauliflower, grapes along with the wheat, barley and the other types of vegetables such as the tomatoes, citrus, along with the green peppers. The economy can grow most of the potatoes which show it as the main crop accounting to the 32,000 metric tons and so far, there has been an approximate total agricultural output of the38,000 metric tons. Medigrain is one of the reputed Maltese company, that has so far, cater to the imports contributing significantly by the 50,000 tons of wheat, which is supplied to the bakeries and restaurants. Another is the silo capacity that produces the 86,000 metric tons of grain. 

The Maltese agriculture and food production industry is also dependent on livestock production which has included the rich s beef, chicken, lamb, pork, rabbit, and turkey. The main livestock exports are prepared with meat products and fish.

Export Success

The Maltese market is also considered to be a mass-markets and it has so far been reaching the heights, that has contributed to the island’s micro-producers (Dubey 2020). The economy has so far created a niche within the market by showing the notable export successes and also actively been presenting the number of niche areas which includes the wide range of products includes potatoes and tuna. Even with the small unit of production, still, the island has been considered to be one of the important markets to the Dutch market, due to the seasoned floury-flavored potatoes which are exported to the Netherlands at premium prices.

Maltese also aims to extensive been investing in aquaculture and it has created extensive opportunities. It has resulted in a wide range of products, which has shown the supply to be at 30% to Japan’s frozen bluefin tuna imports by the Maltese. It has also shown farming of ‘closed cycle species’ (CCS).

The economy of Malta has also created a successful growth by exporting a total of €200 million in 2014, which is far up from €130 million in 2011.

Consumer diets and health

The consumer's orientation is of favoring organic and traditional foods. The economy of Malta's agricultural sector has also aimed to capitalize and can follow the natural food heritage that can be done through the consistent premium products which can be supplied in the international markets. It even involves how to do a consistent promotion of traditional delicacies which involves the goat’s cheese, includes the sun-ripened tomatoes along with making the pasta sauces, herbs and spices and the olive oils, honey and fruits (D’Agostino, 2020)

Machinery and transportation

Malta country is dependent on the British economy for machinery and transportation production. The agriculture production does not involve extensive use of the machinery and transport equipment’s.  But overall, the Malta economy is dependent on the imports of the machinery and transport equipment along with the chemical products and includes mineral fuels (Cole, 2020). The countries are known to be the main export of the products are semiconductors, but have a limited supply of manufactured goods along with refined petroleum from Italy, the U.S., Germany along with France, etc.Malta Major imports

Malta Major imports, source (Cole, 2020)

Economics, labor, and environmental externalities 

Maltese experience the negative environmental externalities, due to which it has limited growth in the agriculture sector (Camilleri-Fenech, 2020). The country experiences high levels of soil erosion and it can help to reduce the productivity in agriculture. It has also impacted the negative and transboundary impacts that have consistently been creating the biodiversity and ecosystem service which is imbalanced due to the rivers and lakes. The economy also experiences a soil erosion in Malta which is at a higher rate which is due to the carbon cycle and due to the climatic change.

Malta’s agri-food industry is also a mixed economy where the locally the economy is more dependent on food production and at the same time,  be competing with cheaper imports. The fragmentation along with the environmental issues which have to be effectively be resolved. 

The positive side of the environmental externalities is the aquaculture that has offered huge potential. Malta has the potential to become the processing hub which can cater to North Africa. But to gain an advantage the economy has to pay the price target foreign markets along with the consumer's willingness to pay top prices and also cater to the sector which requires a consistent change to the current production methods and also to the marketing and sales (Campi, 2020).Agriculture land holdings

Agriculture land holdings, source (Campi, 2020)

Current markets, policies and consumer behavior 

Maltese is the small agriculture-based market, and with the recent introduction of the Agricultural Policy has been requested and been applied by many stakeholders that have worked inline to the strategic national direction as per the dynamic sector (Campi, 2020). So far, the agricultural sector within the Maltese Islands is also known to be significant which has re-shaped due to Malta's accession and as per the ten-year policy, it has been intended to apply to the agricultural sector creating a more sustainable direction and also providing an opportunity to develop and flourish. The economy is known for the attributes of the Common Agricultural Policy and applying it with the regulations. The policy includes the below critical targets-:

A. To consistently increase the competitiveness  and also focus on the active farmers along with the livestock breeders that can help to identify the quality along with the embracing diversification;

B. To facilitate and also focus on the entry of young farmers and focus on creating a cost-effective agri-business sector;

C.  To ensure how to foster sustainability and focus on farming activities that can help to adapt the local geo-climatic conditions;

D. To ensure how there can be farmland that can help to genuinely manage agricultural purposes and related activities.

The current markets of the Maltese constitute wide Europe and North America. The exports are limited to the spring crop potatoes that has been extensively been exported at a premium rate to the Northern Europe and it is part of the famed Mediterranean diet that involves the targeting the specialty sector and ensure how to work collaboratively over the olive oil along with the sun-dried tomatoes, includes the fig jam, sheep milk cheese along with the sea salt. It is also one of the world's smallest winemaking countries (Campi, 2020).

Sustainable food production and resource management 

Malta’s agriculture and the production market are known as the agri-food sector which extensively looks over embracing innovation along with the identification of the diversification which can market its high quality and the niche products. The food production and associating it with the gourmet food production has helped to place itself by preserving and promoting Malta’s local along with the small-scale food producers.

As observed, Malta people are the high-end consumers and enthusiasts of the Mediterranean diet. The specialty sector focuses on the products such as the olive oil, includes the sun-dried tomatoes along with the fig jam and goat’s cheese. The agriculture also involves the potential integration of the aquaculture along with cultivating the seafood.

Malta’s agricultural sector is known to constitute and also evolve with the new green revolution which has been an added advantage for the challenges to the sector. Malta has a total of 13,000 hectares of agricultural land, the food producers struggle to maintain and redefine with the consumer age which is to have the mass-production and processed ready meals (Campi, 2020). Sustainable food production involves the seeds for change and it involves how it has been actively been planted. The sustainable solutions are also how to make the Maltese farmers be more adaptive and adopt the innovation boom within agriculture. It also constitutes the farmland consolidation, and it can use the treated wastewater along with the reversal of the rural skill drain that can result in the measures to single out the farming smarter and how the sector has become consistently being competitive. It also involves how the majority of the Maltese food that has been consistently been consumed locally, and it can be associated with the expertise in food processing for export markets.

The food production within Malta has focused on creating a niche market, as they are consistently supplying the specialty food for the gourmet customers in and it yields more of the interest. At the same time, the market has been preserved to promote Malta’s artisan and food producers. It largely depends on the spring crop potatoes which is considered to be premium along with the specialty sector that involves the delicacies  such as the olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes 

Malta food production is also dependent on the olive oil industry and it is known as the biggest bee-keeping that has extensively kept the Maltese honey as one of the prized delicacies. It even includes the carob, figs and also involves the citrus fruits and cotton (Blancard, 2020)

Key theories, ideas, and models in sustainable food production

The Malta food production and the agriculture set up is more dependent on the theory of the building on a dynamic system. The government set supports the policy that can help to encourage public perception and can result in the interdependency. It involves the systemic nature and involves integrated assessment tools (Blancard, 2020). The theory involves how to relate to the intrinsic properties of the food system and then ensure the outcomes along with the timely production and generations. It would also help to create a crucial vulnerability along with defining the resilience factors to edge over the global environment. The Malta agricultural-based system has also ensured for the socio-economic changes, and it focuses on the specific food along with the nutrition security issues 


To conclude, while Malta country is a small island which has a niche economy, but the agriculture and the food production is limited to the scope for the people. The food production is limited to the few items of potato, olive oil and some other regular products, but it produces in the small scale limited to the local consumers consumption. The agriculture and the food production is limited to placing itself with preserving and promoting Malta’s local business which is occupied by the small-scale food producers. As observed, Malta people are the high-end consumers and enthusiasts of the Mediterranean diet. The specialty sector focuses on the products such as the olive oil, includes the sun-dried tomatoes along with the fig jam and goat’s cheese. The agriculture also involves the potential integration of the aquaculture along with cultivating the seafood.