President Nikos Christodoulides set a goal on Friday for the agriculture sector to produce five per cent of Cyprus’ gross domestic product.

The sector is currently worth three per cent of the country’s GDP.

The goal was announced to agricultural organisations at a meeting at the Presidential palace, with farmers’ union PEA chairman Kyriakos Kailas describing the goal as “a positive thing”.

He added, “this is a big goal”, and warned that for it to be achieved, it requires the state’s support, “as the sector today is on the decline”.

At the same meeting, farmers’ unions had issued a list of demands to the government regarding the future administration of the industry.

Kailas described the demands as “fair” and said he and the other unions present would wait until Monday to see the government’s final answers to them.

Also speaking after the meeting was Agriculture ministry undersecretary Andreas Grigoriou, who described the meeting as “particularly useful and productive”.

He said Christodoulides had “developed the government’s policy programme” at the meeting, with the aim of advancing the agriculture sector.

With this in mind, he said the government had decided to create a working group consisting of representatives from farmers’ union and the agriculture ministry.

He added that the working group will convene in the next few days, and present a programme aimed at advancing the agriculture sector in the beginning of the new year.

Regarding the demands made by farmers’ unions, he said Christodoulides had decided “to discuss them further.”

“Next week, he will be able to make some announcements to satisfy the requests that were submitted,” he added.

The Cyprus Mail attempted to contact the agriculture ministry and multiple farmers’ unions for comment and clarification regarding the content of the unions’ demands.