Progetto Italia Malta
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Interview with Honourable Roderick Galdes

Roderick GaldesInterview with Honourable Roderick Galdes
Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal
Rights a Malta

Mr. Galdes, one of the most tangible results of the Promed
is the renovation of the
experimental winery in Buskett. What role will this center have in the future for Maltese viticulture and how will the Ministry manage it?
The Buskett research station will serve as the location where local vintners can carry out research trials on the production of innovative wine products and the oenological potential of new vine varieties on a small scale, which they are unable to do because they do not have the experimental facilities required. This will enable them to remain competitive by being able to respond to changing market trends. It will also serve as a place where vine growers can obtain technical information regarding the suitability to indigenous and non-indigenous vine varieties to our pedoclimatic conditions and also obtain help regarding correct vineyard management practices, rationalisation of water resources in the vineyard and also correct phytosanitary vineyard management. Chemical and microbiological analysis shall also be carried out to monitor the quality of local DOK/IGT and table wines. The Buskett research station will be managed by a committee set up by the Ministry for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change and research trials shall be carried out by a team of qualified technicians appointed by the Ministry.

What are the other initiatives that the Ministry wants to bring forward for the development of viticulture in Malta?
The MSDEC shall undertake a wide array of initiatives to improve and valorise the local vitivinicultural sector: first through the setting up of the Buskett research station, where research shall focus on improving our local vitivinicultural product and valorising the local product by enhancing the link with our unique territory. Future plans also include the setting up of a national Enoteka where local quality products shall be displayed and initiatives can be undertaken to increase awareness among the public and tourists. The Government is also planning to embark on a national awareness campaign together with local wineries to inform the consumer about local protected wine names and the quality of Maltese and Gozitan PDO and PGI wines. This campaign is the subject of a white paper which shall be published by Government shortly.

Are you defining future collaborations with some of the partners involved in the project? If so, what?
The MSDEC has already embarked on another project, also within the framework of the Italia-Malta Operational Programme, entitled ViEnergy, which shall study solar cooling and is aimed at reducing energy costs in the winery. Two of the partners on this project are the Istituto Regionale Vini e Oli and the CSEI of Sicily, which were also our partners on the Promed project.

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