26 April 2014 08:51

Damages recorded due to the drought this year for crop and livestock farmers amounts to around €14 million, according to the Agricultural Insurance Organisation.
Livestock farmers say that animals are dying in farms due to lack of vegetation and grass but also due to lack of funds to buy expensive food to feed them.
Many livestock farmers are forced to sell their animals at ridiculously low prices or to export them to countries abroad, mostly to Arabic ones.
However, this has resulted in a loss of productive animals which means that internal market needs are not met due to lack of milk.
Lack of milk leads to reduction in the production of halloumi cheese and as a result Cyprus loses large sums from the not selling of a national product.
Livestock farmers also said that even though they sell their animals at ridiculously low prices, those who buy them do not pay them for months.
General secretary of the Cyprus Farmer's Union (EKA) told Haravgi newspaper that the present government must follow the example of the previous government and practically support crop and livestock farmers in Cyprus, mainly those in the productive sectors, who are facing problems due to the drought.
The previous government provided the amount of €67m for animals and to enable farmers to stay in their profession.
EKA General Secretary also confirmed that animals are dying and that farmers are in debt due to the fact that they have to buy imported hay to feed livestock.  
He said that what is needed is better use of water resources in Cyprus but also transfer of water from large dams for productive fields such as that of agriculture.
Agriculture minister Nicos Kouyialis confirmed that there are about €14m  worth of damages due to drought.
He said that from September, farmers will receive the first deposit and full payment from November.
He said that Cyprus as an EU member State has also asked for help from the new Crisis Management Fund. They are aiming to get the amount of €20m.  
This year has been the driest concerning rainfall since 1991 with most dams being more than half empty, according to the Water Development Department.
According to the department, dam capacity has dropped below 47% while the period from October 2013 to September 2014 is expected to be the worst of all time since water levels will not significantly rise before the winter.
 


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