SHEEP AND goat farmers are disappointed that the government has not kept its promise for financial aid and will be lobbying the agriculture and commerce ministries to get them to pay up.
Nicos Michael, heading a committee of various farmers’ unions, said that despite last month’s cabinet decision for a “mangled subsidy” they had received nothing.
“There is inaction and delay in taking decisions to help us deal with our problems,” he said.
Michael said farmers had two other major grievances, one of which related to lack of funds after the banking crisis. When the previous government told them it would have to slash their subsidy by half, they held a number of angry protests, including one that turned violent outside the presidential palace. They eventually promised not to protest any more until after a new government was elected in February.
Michael’s other complaint had to do with standards surround the production of halloumi. He said the government was not implementing the law, “forcing us to sell our milk below cost”. Sheep and goat farmers had previously said some cheese-makers cut corners by using powdered milk or other substances, enabling them to sell halloumi cheaply.
But Michael said this government was dealing with their problems in the same superficial way as the previous government and displayed a “neoliberalist approach in dealing with farming, which we will not accept”.