The government will reimburse fruit producers whose crops were destroyed in the recent hail storms, Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis said on Wednesday.
The minister said following a Cabinet meeting that the government will reimburse producers at least by 50 per cent of the incurred loss.
The compensation will be calculated based on the market price of the various products.
In some cases, he said, the loss was 100 per cent.
“The government is particularly sensitive as regards farmers who have been affected by the latest weather phenomena,” Kadis said.
He added that agriculture ministry officials and the farming insurance agency (OGA) have been instructed to immediately start recording the damage suffered by producers.
Kadis also urged producers to fill out and submit the necessary forms as soon as possible.
“This way, a real relief will soon be given to our farmers and we hope that this will make it easier for them in their next steps,” Kadis said. Compensation will be paid by September, provided applications are filed in time and state services work intensively.
The cabinet also discussed compensation for losses suffered last year due to the prolonged drought.
The minister also said that the effects of the prolonged drought in Cyprus and possible assistance from the EU to Cypriot farmers will be discussed at the upcoming meeting of EU agriculture ministers.
Kadis said that he will also inform his counterparts on the latest damage, which is a result of climate change affecting the region.
The latest development, he said, makes reform of the agriculture insurance sector even more urgent.
“We will present our thoughts to parliament next Tuesday and I hope that with the contribution of all stakeholders and political parties these very important reforms will go ahead,” Kadis said.
The reforms aim at offering insurance coverage to all types of crops against all risks, which have multiplied due to climate change.
OGA, he said, currently covers particular types of crops and for just a number of risks, “thus, support of our farmers is afforded today through other tools beyond farming insurance”.
On Monday, torrential rain and hail in the mountains almost destroyed the entire yield.
The produce included pears, cherries, nectarines, and peaches.