The Balearic government wants to diversify the local economy and concentrate on other “key” industries such as farming. It is a good idea and the Balearic farming industry would certainly welcome the attention, especially if it involves government grants for new equipment. Even though we live on an island with state of art hotels and restaurants, some parts of the farming industry are still lagging behind. I am amazed that one of the industry's key exports, potatoes, are still harvested by hand. Surely, there is a better way which is more effective and more productive. The almond crop is also still picked by hand, in some places, and the sight of one person with a long pole and some green netting is more reminiscent of a scene from the turn of the 20th century than a modern island in a developed European country. Farming in Majorca could be a viable industry but the local government would have to empty their coffers in grants. I don't know if the local government and I have the same ideas about farming because the quaint scene of an elderly gentleman with a straw hat picking his crop by hand has long gone. Farming, even in its organic and environmentally friendly form, is a modern industry and if it is to be viable then the same expertise which the Majorcans have used successfully in the tourist industry must be transfered to the land.

Farming can be quaint and also working on the land has quite nice nationalist permutations, but this is weekend farming, a farming industry which lives off the land on a large scale is a quite different proposition and needs massive investment, expertise and training.

Jason Moore

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