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About 85% of Cypriot agricutural subsidy beneficiaries have small farms

Farmers with small farms constitute more than 85% of the beneficiaries of Common Agricultural Policy subsidies in Cyprus, Agriculture Minister Maria Panayiotou said in her intervention during the Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AGRIFISH) of the EU which was held in Brussels to address the situation in the agricultural sector.

Speaking on 26 March, Panayiotou welcomed the Commission's proposal for additional flexibility in the implementation of controls concerning farmers with small farms, as well as proposals tabled to strengthen the position of farmers in the agri-food chain such as the creation of a European observatory on production costs, profit margins and commercial practices, an Agriculture Ministry press release said.

However, the Agriculture Minister added, the above cannot bring about the desired result without further support for farmers.

At the 26 March AGRIFISH Council, the Ministers welcomed the Commission's recent proposals to simplify certain Common Agricultural Policy provisions and to reduce administrative burdens. The proposals are expected to be adopted in April.

Ministers also discussed the state of agricultural markets and the challenges faced by farmers due to climate change, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing crisis in the Middle East.

During this discussion, Panayiotou stressed that the current situation increases insecurity for farmers, noting that problems in Cyprus have also increased due to an ongoing period of drought. She agreed with the suggestion by other member states to extend the temporary crisis framework for financial support to farmers and called on the Commission to proceed with more support measures.

Regarding fisheries, Cyprus supported Portugal's initiative to continue support to fishermen in emergency situations for 2023 and 2024, through the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund 2021-2027.

Finally, as noted in the press release, the Council adopted without discussion a new Regulation on Geographical Indications, which essentially extends until 2029 (instead of July 2024 which was the initial deadline) a temporary exemption allowing the country to determine the proportions of different types of milk used for the production of halloumi in proportions different than defined by the PDO file for halloumi.

The Regulation is expected to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union in April, with member states being able to implement it within twenty days of its publication.

(Source: CNA)

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