The government will chart a new course for the agricultural sector that addresses the real problems of the rural world, a written speech by Agriculture Minister Petros Xenophontos noted on Sunday.

Although the agricultural sector represents a small part of the country’s Gross National Product, it exerts significant impact on other sectors of the economy, thus multiplying its value, the minister’s speech said.

“Our goal is to support rural communities to remain vibrant hubs of economic, social and cultural development, combining agriculture, tourism and the protection of our natural environment,” it was added.  The speech was read on behalf of the minister by senior agriculture ministry official Makis Antoniades at the 6th Festival of the Flower of Kitromilia, organised by the independent group “Epidrasi”, in Episkopi Limassol.

To support agricultural activity and the sustainable development of rural areas, the Common Agricultural Policy Strategic Plan 2023-2027 provides for a total funding of €454 million.

The strategic plan also includes measures and schemes that promote the sustainability and competitiveness of farmers, while it aims to mitigate environmental problems and tackle climate change.

“The government…aims to continue its multifaceted action and make every effort to improve the competitiveness of the agricultural sector.

“We are determined to breathe new life in the agricultural sector, to pave a new course that meets the needs and addresses the real problems of the rural world,” he added.

Furthermore, in line with EU policies, the agriculture ministry attaches particular importance to the extension of actions to reorganise and improve the functioning of the agricultural sector. Examples are the reform of the sector of risk management in agricultural production, as well as the legislative regulations to address Unfair Commercial Practices in the agri-food supply chain and the improvement of the functioning of the Farmers’ Markets.

“It helps to maintain the social fabric of rural areas and to reduce urbanisation and desertification. Moreover, the practice of agricultural activity protects and preserves the natural environment and landscape and helps to mitigate climate change,” he said.