Regulation of public farmers’ markets is still in limbo, MP Giannakis Gabriel, head of the parliamentary committee for agriculture, said on Wednesday.

“The fact that the President in his 100 days speech did not mention one single fact relating to the state of agriculture, or agricultural policy, shows how low it is on the priority list,” Gabriel told the CyBC.

A proposed framework to regulate sales and products at the popular markets is pending while being shuttled back and forth between state agencies, Gabriel said.

The hold-up is still due to the transference of said regulation from the remit of the interior ministry to the ministry of agriculture, a cumbersome process touching on issues of staffing and retirement funding.

Among other matters, who is to be responsible for the monitoring and guaranteeing of product origin and consumption safety, is still being determined Gabriel said.

The MP added that he hoped some progress would be made at the last scheduled meeting of the plenum on July 13, but said he feared the issue would likely be pushed out to September.

The matter of regulation of popular markets was brought up in October 2022 in Parliament when discussions were also held on regulation to cut out middlemen, so that farmers could sell directly to the public.

The proposed regulation includes licensing for producers to be vetted as genuine, issued by local authorities and municipalities.

Provisions to curtail the sale of non-local produce by vendors are also under discussion.