About the Organisation
In March 2012, Jeanette Borg was invited to attend a DG Agri press trip in Estonia and Latvia. Together with a small group of agri-journalists from across the EU, Jeanette was introduced to a young farmer who also represented a local Estonian organisation supporting youth. While he was mentioning problems that were afflicting their members - such as insularity and lack of representation, Jeanette immediately saw similarities with the situation back at home. This got her thinking and spent the rest of the trip musing about her discussions with this young farmer.
Back in Malta, Jeanette approached two of her past MCAST students John Gauci and Karl Scerri, recounted what she had just learnt, and had a meaningful discussion about the potential of agriculture in Malta. It was agreed that young farmers are key to sustainable food production in Malta and unless agriculture regenerates its workforce, it will become a dying trade. That was the dawn of a new era for youth in agriculture in the Maltese islands, and the birth of the MaYA Foundation.
Since Malta joined the EU in 2004, farming took a different shape. Our farming is still small-scale and traditional but connectivity and globalisation have changed many aspects of the food chain. Many ask if there are still any young farmers in the Maltese Islands; the answer is a resounding yes! However, youth in Malta and Gozo need to be given much more support and credit, especially in a society that has been detached from the realities of what it takes to cultivate land, rearing livestock and producing our food.
The foundation has been set up to address these needs, and to build bridges between young farmers, government entities and the general public, thus giving agriculture a broader scope. Our hope is to achieve the foundation's objectives by staying close to young farmers, and by being their voice with decision-makers and the local community.