Organic production in Cyprus has made huge strides in the past two decades, Agriculture Minister Petros Xenophontos said on Sunday during the first annual organic farming festival in Denia.
The minister said that according to their numbers, organic farming has grown from 0.22 per cent of agricultural production in 2003 to 5.87 per cent today.
“Our goal is to reach 7.5 per cent by 2025,” he said.
In addition, he said that the number of organic farmers in the same period has increased from 85 two decades ago to 1,500.
“The effort made by our organic farmers is truly commendable and for this the ministry of agriculture is always supportive of their efforts,” Xenophontos said.
He said that recognising the valuable contribution, but also the significant challenges faced by the organic farming sector in Cyprus, his ministry, in the context of the strategic plan of the common agricultural policy 2023-2027, placed organic farming very high on the list of priorities.
Through the available programmes, the minister said that out of a total budget of €21,927,000, significant incentives were being given to farmers, breeders and beekeepers with the aim of increasing the agricultural land and livestock units that are part of organic production system.
Another tool was the European organic agriculture action plan which aims to boost demand for organic products, ensuring consumer confidence, boosting conversion from conventional to organic products and strengthening the value chain. In addition, he hopes that organic agriculture and animal husbandry would become an example to follow.
Xenophontos said that his ministry, following the European model, drew up an national action plan, which was being implemented from the start of September and includes 16 actions.
“As a national goal, 10 per cent of the total agricultural area has been set to be converted into biologically cultivated agricultural area with a time horizon of 2030,” he added.
He said that for the success of this ambitious goal, the cooperation of all the agencies involved is imperative.