Cyprus plans to spend €461.9m on the agricultural sector over the five-year period of 2023-2027, Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis said on Tuesday after cabinet approved the country’s strategic plan for the new common agricultural policy (CAP).
This will now be submitted to the European Commission for consultations and approval before the end of 2022.
The aim is to contribute to the ministry’s vision of a green Cyprus through sustainable growth, protection of the environment and proper management of natural resources that will create new job opportunities and improve quality of life, he added.
Cyprus’ strategic plan is in line with the EU’s new development model as expressed in the Green Deal, From Farm to Fork, Biodiversity 2030 and the action plan for a cyclical economy.
Of the €461.9m some €83.6m will come from national sources. The scheme provides for €238.2m in direct payments, €22m for joint marketing organisations and €201m for agricultural development.
Kadis said that the strategic plan has nine objectives, including boosting mountain areas, assistance after natural disasters and protective measures for cultivations.
He highlighted the important contribution of the agricultural sector to mitigating the impact of climate change and adapting farming and livestock breeding to this new state of affairs.
Attracting young farmers and facilitating business development in agricultural areas remains a priority, with additional grants proposed for young farmers to settle in mountain areas, he added.
Preparation of the strategic plan started in 2019 and included consultations with farmers, NGOs, academics and researchers. The general public was able to submit proposals online.
The nine objectives are: supporting viable agricultural income and resilience so as to bolster food security; increasing competitiveness focusing especially on research, technology and digitilisation; improving farmers’ position in the food chain; efforts to mitigate climate change; promoting viable growth and effective management of natural resources such as water, soil and air; contributing to biodiversity and protecting natural habitats; attracting new farmers and facilitating their business growth; promoting employment, social integration and local development in farming areas and finally improving the response of agriculture to society’s demands concerning food and health including through more bio-farming and using less antibiotics.