Cypriot farmers in collaboration with Italian geneticists have created a pioneering new cereal grain called ‘Re Alexi’ with the view of coming up with more productive and resilient crops.
In his address at the presentation of grain on Wednesday, Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis said that the choice of the name ‘Re Alexi’, which was suggested by the general secretary of the farmers union (Eka), is not at all accidental.
“The rebellion of Re Alexi resembles the revolution that the agricultural sector is attempting to bring about through this pioneering grain, which draws its strength from two other seed varieties from which it originates,” Kadis said.
He added that experimental crops using the innovative grain have been growing for three years, the results of which may lead to more productive and resilient plantations.
Kadis highlighted that the grain may also contribute to the protection of the environment, as it appears to use less fertilizer while also boosting the productivity of farmland.
“If the above are confirmed, production costs will fall, leading to a chain reaction of several benefits in the production and marketing of agri-food products,” Kadis said.
Kadis said that during the Frankish period of Cyprus Cypriot farmers under the leadership of until then unknown serf Alexis rebelled against excessive oppression and economic deprivation and managed to control a large part of the island and to establish their own administration.
Kadis went on to say that the rebels withstood pressures for several months until the spring of 1427 when the Franks regained power, leading the leaders of the rebellion, including Alexis, to a terrible end.