DEAR SIR

I totally agree with Mr Webb's message, which also corresponds to the party platform of PSM, but wishful thinking is not going to make any difference, without a plan. And planning requires an accurate assessment of actual conditions outside of the Calvia to Palma axis.

Specifically, what caught my eye was Webb´s “but I have never seen a green house here, and then onto poultry and livestock, has Majorca anything?” as an example of how those who read the Majorca Daily Bulletin need to get out more and see the real Majorca.

Has he ever flown into our local airport? If so, has he not wondered what that great white streak east of the airport is? (Answer: a greenhouse probably over a mile long). I use a bike for transport and recreation more then my car and live in Es Pla, where, if one leaves the motorways, the area is dotted with greenhouses, and quite a few “chicken factories”. In Porreres, at its Tuesday market, the majority of the produce is produced locally (the tomatoes in green houses all year round).

As for other livestock, the issue is more complicated. One need only drive in the countryside around Campos to see the disused cattle sheds of its former dairy industry. Symbolically, Campos has two pairs of “gegants” where the older pair are a milkman and milk maid, but the newer represent a woman who wrote a cookbook, and an entertainer who also made knives. There are two problems here, one is that within the EU it is cheaper to import milk. The other is that cows eat grass, grass needs water, and pumping ground water in the Campos area depletes the water table so that the fresh water is replaced by salt water.

So, yes, there is a lot of under-used land in Majorca that could be made more productive, but the problem here is more political then simply economics. For example think of the issue of golf courses which consume more water then cows. In Porreres, the Son Pagos golf project was replaced by a solar farm, while in Muro the issue is still being debated. Majorca has numerous agricultural cooperatives promoting and encouraging local produce, these need to be encouraged and expanded. Research needs to be done about the possibility of garden crops and grazing on the same land as solar farms. The tax structure needs to be revised to encourage the owners of under-used land to be made more productive.

Richard Goss
Porreres

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