Cyprus Mail

Minister underlines state support for agriculture

Υπ Γεωργιας – Σύνοδος Κορυφής των
Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis

The national plan for developing mountainous areas sims to combat urbanisation, support the agriculture sector and encourage young people to live in rural area, Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis said at the annual hazelnut ball.

Held in Polystypos on Monday night, the ball is an example of the local agricultural activities supported by the plan, Kadis said.

Although the village is the island’s largest hazelnut producer, the minister admitted to the loss of the Cypriot product’s competitive edge because of the difficulty in using industrial machinery due to the fragmentation of crops and rising costs of production.

Nonetheless, he praised Cypriot agricultural products for their “high quality” and the production methods as “respectful to the environment and the consumer as well.”

Pointing out the value the state puts on Cypriot agricultural products, the minister referred to the of a bill currently being forwarded to establish a quality seal for worthy Cypriot agricultural products as well as their registration into EU’s geographical indications system, protecting names of products that originate from specific regions.

“We constantly pursue registering more of our agricultural products in these lists,” the minister said.

In addition, he highlighted that in the past two and a half years agricultural activity and the island’s producers have been supported by almost €50 million in government subsidies.

Moreover, he pointed out that the inclusion of the agricultural sector in the Recovery and Resilience plan and in the Cyprus Tomorrow programme led to the development of projects expected to have a positive knock-on effect on agriculture.

These include the reform of the water management system valued at €35 million, the creation of a livestock management unit in Orounta valued at €30 million, the programme for the genetic improvement of sheep and goats valued at €5 million and the scheme reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the agricultural sector valued at €4 million.

In addressing modernisation and improvement of competitiveness, he said that since 2014 when the island joined the EU’s common agriculture policy, the Cypriot agriculture sector has received more than €850 million from available EU finance tools.

He said strategic planning for agricultural development for 2023-27 includes incentives for modernising agricultural and livestock holdings and establishing teams of producers aimed at reducing cost of production and instilling more organisation, in addition to including support to organic farming and environmental action towards enhancing and developing traditional crops such as hazelnuts.

Hazelnut production in Cyprus takes place within 30 hectares of land and totals just €80,000 per annum in value.

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