By Evie Andreou
THE sooner the damage from the recent storms is assessed, the quicker compensation will be paid out, Agriculture minister Nicos Kouyialis said yesterday during his tour of Famagusta district to see first-hand the extent of the damage on the crops.
Kouyialis, who visited Paralimni, Sotira, Liopetri, Xylofagou and Ormideia, reassured crop farmers that the government would help and support them, especially those who have been affected by the extreme weather conditions of the last days.
The Famagusta area has been hit the hardest, Kouyialis said. Around 4,000 hectares of potato crops and other hectares of crops have been destroyed or have been severely damaged. He added that several greenhouses have also been extensively damaged.
“Unfortunately, the beneficial rainfall of the last days, in combination with the extreme weather conditions have created extended damage all over Cyprus,” Kouyialis said.
He said that he has already given instructions to competent services of his ministry and to the Agriculture Insurance Organisation (OGA) to start recording the damage and that solutions would be found to compensate those farmers whose damage is not covered by OGA.
He urged the farmers to cooperate with OGA and his ministry to record the damage as soon as possible and said that the state is constantly adopting measures for the support of the sector to counterbalance the negative effects from the economic crisis.
Unfortunately, there has been significant damage in fish farming as well, Kouyialis said.
He added that the Fisheries department visited Zygi and Liopetri to record the damage.
“We will see what we can do and how we can help, since fish farming is not covered by any insurance,” Kouyialis said.
He added that as is always the case with natural disasters, a national compensation scheme is drawn up which has first to be approved by the Cabinet and then by the European Commission.