Citrus growers in the Morphou area in the north appealed for a part of the water brought from Turkey to be given to the area for irrigation purposes.
Chairman of their union, Ali Alioğlu, said 44,000 donums out of 74,000, of citrus groves had dried since 1974 and unless water for irrigation was provided immediately, another six to seven thousand donums would also dry.
Indicating that the producers were aware of the value of land they held and they were keeping their shoulders to the wheel, Alioglu said. Οn the contrary, the Turkish Cypriot authorities were not providing enough assistance.
Alioglu said the authorities should draw a plan for agriculture and look into building more houses for the growing population, which will be fed through irrigation farming.
“We need to differentiate between productive land and arid land and start building houses on cliffs,” he said.
Alioglu added that the biggest problem in the north was the lack of a “legislation on land” and said “if this law doesn’t pass, the citrus sector in Guzelyurt (Morphou) stood to lose a lot.
There are two universities in the area. There will be one or two more in the near future. In case the producers does not earn money from citrus, they will have to start thinking about the future of their children and begin selling their land.” Alioglu said this will be the end of citrus in Morphou.
Water from Turkey is channelled to north Cyprus via an underwater pipeline. The project was finished in 2015 but the water is only for household use for the time being.