Newsroom / CNA
Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development, and Environment, is making every possible effort to address new challenges while improving the competitiveness of the agricultural sector, said the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development, and Environment, Petros Xenophontos. He also said that the registration of the name "Cypriot Red Soil Potato" as a Geographical Indication product in the European Union Registry is currently underway.
In his address on Thursday at the “Big Potato Festival in Xylofagou”, Xenophontos referred to the recent announcements regarding two key developmental measures under the Rural Development Program 2014-2020. These measures, namely 4.1, providing financial support for investments in the primary sector, and 6.1, offering assistance for the first installation of new farmers, have garnered significant interest from the rural community.
Following a thorough review of all applications received, as he said, it was decided to increase the subsidy amount to 70 million euros, up from the initial 36 million euros originally earmarked. This boost in funding facilitated the approval of all applications meeting the participation criteria.
Minister Xenophontos also emphasized the Ministry's commitment to aligning with EU policies and its dedication to expanding initiatives aimed at restructuring and improving the agricultural sector. Examples of these initiatives include reforms in risk management for agricultural production and legislative measures aimed at combating Unfair Trading Practices in the agricultural and food supply chain. Additionally, efforts have been made to enhance the operation of Local Markets for the benefit of farmers.
In response to geopolitical challenges, such as Russia's invasion of Ukraine, he said that special budget plans have been devised, with 3.5 million euros set aside to support the potatoes of the 2022 spring harvest.
Furthermore, Minister Xenophontos announced that Cyprus is currently in the process of registering the name "Cypriot Red Soil Potato" in the EU Geographical Indications registry.
This move, as he said, “is expected to further elevate Cypriot potato cultivation, as Geographical Indications enable consumers to trust and distinguish high-quality products, while simultaneously assisting producers in effectively marketing their products”.