Police in Nicosia are warning of traffic chaos on Thursday when farmers from across the island stage a protest with their tractors and other agricultural machines. Drivers have been urged to avoid unnecessary travel.

The protest starts at 10am at GSP stadium outside Nicosia and will continue to the European Commission in Cyprus, also known as House of Europe, on Lordou Vyronos street.

Road closures will occur along the route the protesters will take.

“It will be a very big protest,” a police spokesperson said. “Demonstrators will be accompanied by police throughout the entire day. However, due to the presence of tractors and agricultural machines, we expect traffic disruptions.”

They told the Cyprus Mail that the planned protest is set to disrupt traffic for much of the day and advised motorists to avoid unnecessary journeys.

Lordou Vyronos street will be closed to traffic for the entire duration of the protest from the traffic lights on Grivas Digenis avenue to the traffic lights near the Greek embassy.

Police will be dispatched on the streets of Nicosia to aid motorists and to indicate diversion routes.

Farmers in Paphos staged a tractor protest in solidarity with farmers on the European mainland last Sunday, stating that food producers in the district were on the brink of extinction.

“We are asking for the state to adjust some directives to the reality on the ground in Cyprus,” the head of farmer’s union Pek Christos Papapetrou said.

Farmers in Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Greece, Portugal and Romania have also taken to the streets in recent weeks amid tensions over the impact on farming of the EU’s green policies they say are devastating their livelihoods, as well as opening the door to cheap Ukrainian imports for which the EU has waived quotas.

In most countries, farmers say they are not paid enough, are choked by taxes, red tape and excessive environmental rules. Farmers also take issue with new EU subsidy rules, such as a requirement to leave four per cent of farmland fallow.