Andrew Bonello (Releaf Malta)

ReLeaf proposal for the Reform of the Constitution of Malta

Right for personal cultivation and freedom to farm

The Maltese islands are lucky to have a dedicated tradition keen to keep Maltese produce alive and ensure future generations continue to enjoy the fruits of our soil and preserve the labour of our hard working farmers and private cultivators. Current global movements and multi-national corporations continue to centralise the cultivation, production and preservation of seeds within commercial and big business portfolios. This will have catastrophic consequences for the global commons and the preservation of life.

The relationship between Maltese society and agriculture dates back centuries. From the early settlements of migrants from Sicily and North Africa, to the terraced fields during the Arab years, to the more recent laborious cultivation of cotton during British colonial rule, Maltese citizens have always maintained a strong connection to their agricultural roots.

If we look at the communal and individual level, Maltese citizens never stopped to cultivate a passion for local produce and in fact Malta enjoys various traditionally cultivated and produced consumables such as cheese, marmalade, wine, liquor, craft beer etc. The benefits of cultivating and consuming a personally grown fruit, vegetable, fungus and herb are numerous and directly fit into the prospects of promoting a more sustainable and organic future. Furthermore, they enrich the local body of knowledge and expertise on Maltese Flora and herb.

The Constitution of Malta establishes:

1) Respect for private and family life

2) Protection for privacy of home or other property

However, it falls short from providing protection to the personal cultivation of vegetables, fungi, fruits and herbs.

ReLeaf Malta proposes the introduction of the Right for personal cultivation and freedom to farm vegetables, fruits, fungi and herbs including psychoactive plants in the privacy of one’s own home or other property and in full respect of private and family life. The right to personal cultivation and freedom to farm is an inherent right and should be enshrined in the new Constitution of Malta.