A series of meetings between CAPO , the Agriculture Ministry, and the Finance Ministry were arranged to ensure the deadline is met.
Agriculture Minister Nicos Kouyialis, meanwhile, has also announced that a further €243 million will be spent within the framework of the state’s Agricultural Development Programme, including towards the creation of 600 job positions, around half of which will encompass young farmers.
Cyprus entry into the EU in 2004 was met with the liberalisation of the Cypriot import regime and that allowed foreign competition in the domestic fruit and vegetables market.
This in turn with other issues such as water scarcity in the last six to eight years has been disastrous for the country’s agriculture, as desalinised fresh water is proving too expensive to use for irrigation.
Potato farmers are particularly hurt by falling prices in Northern European markets, and have been repeatedly receiving compensation from the government, which is nonetheless not enough to cover their expenses and leave them with an adequate profit to live on.
Cyprus grows top quality potatoes, mostly in the “Kokkinokhoria” (means “red soil villages”) area which feature excellent soil of a rich red colour. Cypriot potatoes are considered the best, and most pricey potatoes in Europe along with Israeli potatoes which are also of high quality.
Another problem for Cypriot agriculture is a labour shortage.