In the coming days the government will announce new measures to support the agriculture and animal husbandry sectors, hit by soaring commodity prices, while stocks of grains are adequate until at least May, the minister said on Tuesday.

Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis briefed parliamentarians about the government’s recently placed order for 36,000 tonnes of grains to assist with depleted reserves due to disrupted supply chains and decreased imports/exports owing to the war in Ukraine.

In addition, private importers are awaiting new grain shipments.

Stocks should be sufficient until May, the minister said.

Every year Cyprus consumes some 600,000 tonnes of grain for all uses, and produces a maximum of 50,000 tonnes.

The lion’s share (90 per cent) of cereals go to animal feed, with the rest used for human consumption – flour milling and making pasta.

As things stand, Cyprus does not have strategic grain stocks – ‘strategic’ being the keyword – requiring the state to intervene to secure supplies.

Kadis noted that during a recent meeting of EU agriculture ministers in Brussels, assurances were obtained that from now on grain-producing countries will provide monthly briefings about their reserves so that their distribution is done on an equitable basis.

The minister said also that in about 10 days the government will announce new measures geared at assisting the farming community, as prices of both animal feed as well as other raw materials continue to rise.

The department of agriculture has drawn up the assistance proposals, and will be dialoguing with the finance ministry to settle on how much aid to farmers is feasible.

Kadis said that on Thursday he will be traveling to Luxembourg where, in cooperation with other EU countries, an effort will be made to divert some of the funds allocated for agricultural growth into financial assistance for farmers.

If this pans out, he noted, even more assistance funds would become available for Cypriot farmers.