Cyprus, due to its geographical location, is faced with increased difficulties in the supply of food and raw materials, Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis said during the EU agriculture and fisheries council on Monday.
In his intervention at the AGRIFISH council in Brussels which focused on the agricultural market following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Kadis said the rising cost of production has a direct impact on the farming and livestock industries and stressed the need for measures in support of farmers.
Referring to Cyprus, he said because it is an island and due to its geographical location, there are additional difficulties in the supply of food and raw materials which, coupled with increased prices has led to an extremely unfavourable situation of Cypriot livestock farmers.
Kadis stressed that the challenges must be met in a spirit of solidarity between member states, to ensure that the negative consequences of the war are dealt with in a uniform manner and that the viability of any agricultural or livestock holding in any member state is not jeopardised.
A member state which is a producer of raw materials should not build up stocks for several months and prevent supplies to another member state which was not a producer of raw materials.
Kadis called for the temporary suspension of import duties on raw materials for animal feed and cereals for human consumption originating in third countries.
He welcomed the measures proposed by the European Commission to tackle the crisis, while adding these should be complemented by additional measures.
“We are experiencing a crisis, and we consider it necessary to promote measures at least equivalent to those taken for the pandemic, both through the rural development programme and through state aid,” he said.
Cyprus, together with 11 other member states, supported Spain’s request to take the necessary measures to address the consequences of the significant increase in the cost of raw materials and fuel in the fisheries sector, including aquaculture.
The views and suggestions expressed by all the ministers in the Council will be discussed by a special working group later this week to finalise the support measures for the agricultural sector that the member states can take.