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25 June, 2024
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Efforts underway to preserve native Cypriot cattle breed

Stakeholders collaborate to safeguard traditional Cypriot cows amid agricultural changes and climate challenges


According to a report by Kathimerini's Pavlos Neophytou in Wednesday's Oikonomiki edition, a collaborative effort among Cypriot stakeholders aims to revitalize the dwindling population of the native Cypriot cattle breed, which has faced endangerment since the mechanization of agriculture post-1960. Recognized for its superior meat quality and adaptation to the island's climate, the Cypriot cow is integral to Cyprus's heritage and environment.

Efforts are underway to promote the breed's meat through gastronomic initiatives and tourism ventures, emphasizing its cultural significance and ecological benefits. Researchers highlight the breed's potential in addressing food security challenges and mitigating fire risks through vegetation management.

Cypriot cows stood at 27,500 in 1960, gradually decreasing to 5,000 in 1975...efforts to reverse this decline have been successful, with the number increasing from 746 in 2008 to 1,202 in 2022

A recent workshop organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Cyprus Poultry Association addressed the coordination of stakeholders involved in preserving the breed. Key organizations include agricultural departments, research institutions, and educational bodies.

Marketing strategies and research projects are being developed to promote the breed's meat and understand its economic, cultural, and genetic significance. The Cypriot Technical School of Culinary Arts is actively integrating the meat into gastronomic culture, with plans to publish a recipe book.

While the breed's population declined significantly over the years due to agricultural mechanization, recent conservation efforts have shown promising results. Financial support and subsidies provided to farmers have contributed to the breed's resurgence, with the number of animals and farmers increasing substantially.

According to official data from the Ministry of Agriculture, the population of Cypriot cows stood at 27,500 in 1960, gradually decreasing to 5,000 in 1975. However, efforts to reverse this decline have been successful, with the number of cattle increasing from 746 in 2008 to 1,202 in 2022.

The establishment of the Association of Breeders of Local Cattle Breeds underscores the commitment to preserving the breed's distinct characteristics and promoting collaboration among breeders.

Lessons from the successful implementation of the Darwin project in Livadi Akrotiri highlight the breed's potential in enhancing biodiversity and ecosystem services. Financial incentives for local residents to become breeders led to a significant increase in the breed's population and improvements in grassland management.

Overall, ongoing initiatives seek to safeguard the Cypriot cattle breed's future while promoting sustainable agricultural practices and preserving Cyprus's cultural and environmental heritage.

Cyprus  |  agriculture  |  cattle

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