Minister of Agriculture: Measures prevented any further decline of sector

Minister of Agriculture: Measures prevented any further decline of sector

Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources Nicos Kouyialis told CNA that the measures taken by the Ministry succeeded in preventing any further decline of the agricultural sector due to the wider economic crisis, the prolonged drought and the Russian embargo on agricultural exports.

In statements to CNA, the Minister said that in 2015 apart from the measures already taken, the Ministry proceeds with the implementation of a new programme for agricultural development 2014 – 2020 which will include a higher EU contribution.

He also said that Cyprus will benefit from the new fisheries plan which will allocate Cyprus 35 million euro instead of 20 million which was the case during the previous plan. In addition, he said that efforts will continue as regards the cost of production by providing economic incentives for the use of photovoltaic systems in agriculture.

“The impact of the economic crisis was much more intense in some production areas where we had to provide relief assistance”, he said, adding that from 2013 until today the national funds exceeded 16 million euro.

Meanwhile, the Ministry`s data for 2013 show that the contribution of agriculture to the nominal GDP increased to 2,3%, from 2,1% in 2012.

As regards exports of agricultural products they were up by 21,18% or €42,1 million in 2013 compared to 2012 (2013: €240.7 mln and 2012: €198.6 mln).

Referring to the European Fisheries Fund he said that Cyprus is one of the first EU countries as regards the absorption of funds.