By Constantinos Psillides
CYPRUS citrus farmers will be looking to the United Arab Emirates and other countries in the Gulf region to export their goods, in an attempt to find alternative markets following the Russian food embargo.
Agriculture minister Nicos Kouyialis had a meeting on Friday with the representative of a UAE citrus import company, which according to Kouyialis wishes to expand its operation in the island.
“This is the first in a number of meetings, aiming at finding new markets for local producers’ products,” said Kouyialis after the meeting.
“Our aim is to establish a long-lasting collaboration with countries in the Gulf region, regarding the industries of citrus fruits, potatoes, vegetables and dairy products,” added Kouyialis, characterising the meeting as “very productive.”
Kouyialis told the press that he had also arranged for future meetings between the producers and import companies working in the Gulf region.
The Russian embargo, imposed after the EU announced further economic sanctions for the country’s involvement in the Ukraine crisis, hurt Cyprus to the tune of €13.5 million in exports. Out of that, €10.7m relates to citrus fruits, specifically an exclusively Cyprus variation called the mandora. Mandoras are described as a cross between an orange and a mandarin, used by Russian businesses to produce juice.