Cyprus Mail

Aid to citrus growers

Farmers in Cyprus facing difficult times due to rising costs of fuel, feed, fertilizers and a dip in tourism.

By Evie Andreou

CYPRIOT citrus producers will be among the recipients of the emergency support funds that are given to farmers affected by the Russian ban imposed last August on European food products.

So far, the EU did not include citrus in its list of affected produce from the ban. The measures, which were decided by the European Commission in September and where approved yesterday by the Cabinet cover oranges, clementine and mandarins.

Agriculture minister Nicos Kouyialis had announced two weeks ago that the island’s citrus producers would be included in the EU’s aid funds, after his insistence at the EU agriculture ministers’ meeting in September.

In Cyprus the embargo largely affects citrus farmers, since out of the €13.5m in exports to Russia, €10.7m relates to citrus fruits.

The Agriculture ministry announced that the measures concern 18,620 tons of early harvest (green harvest) of mandarins and oranges and withdrawal from the market and free distribution of 600 tons of mandarins, orange varieties and varieties of clementine.

The measures cover members as well as non-members of producer organisations and the percentage of compensation, 50 and 100 per cent, is set by regulations according to various categories.

The ministry urged the producers to apply for the aid by December 31.

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