Malta Agriculture and Fishing Overview

Malta Facts

Malta is best known for its historic cities, castles and monasteries, as well as its World Heritage Sites.
Capital: Valletta
Official language: Maltese and English
Currency: Euro
Passport and visa: A Finnish citizen needs a valid passport or an identity card issued after 1 March 1999 as a travel document.
Time difference to Finland: -1
Summer time: -1

Agriculture and fishing

Malta produces only about one fifth of the food consumed by the population. Poor soils and lack of water mean that agriculture is not very developed. The industry’s share of gross domestic product (GDP) is only two percent. Fishing is important.

  • CountryAAH: Comprehensive import regulations of Malta. Covers import prohibitions and special documentation requirements for a list of prohibited items.

About a third of the island group’s land area is cultivable, but the soils are meager and the area cultivated decreases. Agriculture is carried out on small plots in terraced gardens along slopes. There are no prerequisites for using machines on a large scale. Most farms are family run.

Malta is self-sufficient in vegetables, eggs, milk and chicken, rabbit and pork. Beef and fruit are widely imported. In addition, most animal feed is imported. The most common crops are potatoes, tomatoes, onions and some fruit, such as citrus fruits and grapes. Livestock, goats, cows and pigs are also managed. Potatoes are the most important export crop.

Only about a percent of the land area is forest forests. For Malta defense and foreign policy, please check relationshipsplus.

Fishing in Malta has ancient origins. Today’s commercial fishing is small-scale and seasonal. Almost all fish are exported, mainly to Italy and Japan. The industry has been hit by depletion and environmental degradation in the Mediterranean.

Fish farming increased sharply during the 1990s and into the early 2000s, when it was a larger industry than traditional fishing. Many growers then went on to catch and fertilize tuna, which is then exported, mainly to Japan. In 2007, 7,000 tonnes of tuna were caught, making Malta the Mediterranean’s largest tuna producer. Since then, the supply of tuna has declined sharply and in 2011 only about 1,000 tonnes were fished. Tuna cannot be grown, but research is ongoing to make it possible. In 2012, the government presented an EU-supported plan to increase fish farming incomes and create 2,000 new jobs in the sector by 2025. At the same time, fish farming, including the perch-like sea urchin, began to increase again.


Agriculture’s share of GDP

0.9 percent (2018)

Percentage of land used for agriculture

32.4 percent (2016)



The Labor Party wins in EU elections

The Labor Party receives 53 percent of the vote in the European Parliament elections on May 25. The Nationalist Party receives about 40 percent of the vote.


New female president

In April 2014 Parliament appointed Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, the family minister, as new president.


Passport plans for foreigners are changed

The Government of Malta amends the previous plans to sell citizenship without requiring the buyer to be connected to Malta. After the EU Commission reacted to the plans, which would have given the new passport holders the right to settle and work throughout the EU, the government decides that non-Europeans who want to obtain a Maltese passport must have lived in the country for at least one year.

Malta Agriculture and Fishing