The la Paloma smallholding has farming land that has been abandoned for several years. The new owner has experience in producing ecological honey in Mallorca and is now starting a project to improve two hectares of land that are available in Mahon.
The idea is to convert the area into a space with fruit trees and wild flowers of different seasons, for the purpose of supplying pollen for beehives as well as attracting other pollinating insects. Just a few days ago, an agreement was signed with the Land Stewardship Scheme and the smallholding has been incorporated into the network of agricultural custody farms promoted by GOB.
As the land is on a steep slope work will have to be done to incorporate systems to control the erosion and to improve the distribution of rainwater, with the aim of guaranteeing the fertility of the soil to make it adequate for sowing plants.
The Land Stewardship Scheme encourages farms to plant some areas with flowers, given that these spaces help with pest control and improve the populations of pollinating insects, so benefiting agricultural productivity.
Insects are the most lost part of biodiversity during the last few decades, because of a mixture of the intensive use of pesticides and changes in land management. In some studies done in Europe, they have found losses of 75%. For this reason, it is very welcome to have an initiative that recuperates farm land without using toxic products and grows wild flowers while at the same time provides an economic activity.