The cabinet has approved state aid proposed by the agriculture ministry addressed to cattle, poultry, pig and rabbit breeders affected by the pandemic fallout.

The aid will be disbursed via the Cyprus Agricultural Payments Organisation backed by EU funds addressing the current outbreak of Covid-19.

Still reeling from the impact of the pandemic, livestock farmers are struggling to cope with a surge in the price of grains in the wake of the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Both countries are significant grain exporters, and the war has sent prices rocketing amid fears of a worldwide shortage.

Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis has assured farmers that authorities are working on a support scheme that will soon go to cabinet for approval.

He said these measures will be in line with last week’s decision of the European Commission, in view of the fallout from the war in Ukraine, to improve affordability of food, enhance global food security and to support farmers and consumers in the EU.

The Commission noted that while food availability is currently not at stake since the continent is largely self-sufficient for many agricultural products, the agricultural sector is prone to vulnerabilities as input costs such as fertilizers and energy are surging risking high food prices.

This decision comes after sheep and goat farmers took to the streets of Nicosia to demand support as the surge in input costs and rising retail food prices have alarmed both farmers and consumers.