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Paphos farmers demand compensation for crop damage

File photo

Heavy rain and hail hit Paphos crops once again on Wednesday, with the local division of the association of Cyprus farmers (EKA) demanding immediate compensation.

According to EKA, the rain and hail resulted in the destruction of “many if not all” of Paphos crops, saying that if the state failed to address the issue, “the agricultural world will once again have to shoulder the costs.”

The organisation said that once the storms subsided, it would be making the rounds of affected farms and recording the damage so it can demand compensation.

It called on the Agricultural Insurance Organisation (OGA) and the agricultural department to do the same, in view of providing timely compensation and support to affected farmers.

The call came after Hail on Monday caused severe damage to vineyards, citrus and almond trees in Peyia, Miliou and Yiolou. Community leaders called for prompt response by the state for compensation of the stricken producers.

Yiolou community leader, Stavros Vrahnou, told the Cyprus news Agency that it was the worst damage he has seen in the last 50 years. The hail damaged deciduous, citrus and almond trees, he said, adding that the competent state services ought to promptly record damage so that the affected producers are compensated.

Paphos Akel MP Andreas Fakondis said that he will request that the matter be added to the agenda of the House agriculture committee, so that it can be discussed along with other issues affecting Paphos agriculture.

In February, cabinet approved the creation of a new insurance system for farmers that seeks to offer financial support to producers of all crops, as well as for sheep and goat farmers.

The new insurance system “will cover all crops in view of all threats, and so we are departing from the current state of affairs where only some crops are insured and after only some threats,” Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis, said.

The new system, which Kadis expects will become operational within 2019, will replace the current Agriculture Insurance Organisation (OGA), whose duties will be transferred to the ministry of agriculture and current employees of the organisation will be appointed in the civil service.

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