Find Agriculture expertise in Cyprus
Agriculture, together with fisheries and forestry, accounts for 2% of Cyprus’ GDP (2010). Despite this relatively low contribution, which has steadily declined due to development of other sectors, agriculture continues to be a vital sector of Cyprus’ economy. It employs an estimated 4.3% of the country’s labour force (2010) and, in 2009 agricultural land accounted for 13.5% of total land area, with one in three farms specialised in citrus and other fruit. The average size of a holding in Cyprus is five hectares, with 79% of them specialising in crops of some kind (2008). Alongside citrus, the main agricultural commodities produced in Cyprus include olives, dairy products, barley, pork, lamb and grapes. Commodities are grown both for the domestic market and as exports, primarily to European Union nations. Cheese, potatoes and citrus fruit (tangerines, mandarins and clementines) are the most lucrative exports, generating US$64m, US$44m and US$23m respectively in 2010. The Department of Agriculture is part of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, and is responsible for the country’s agricultural policy and general development of the agricultural sector
In the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (2012-13) Cyprus was placed 75th (out of 144 countries) in the world in terms of its balanced agricultural policy costs, with a value of 3.8 out of 7, just below the world average of 3.9.
The Agricultural Research Institute is responsible for efforts to improve the efficiency of Cypriot agriculture. It runs experiments with solar-heated greenhouses, soil fertility, water usage optimization, and the introduction of new varieties of grain.
The Department of Agriculture hopes to modernise the agricultural sector with specialemphasis on the improvement of productivity and competitiveness, the application of new methods in integrated production, the production of safe products for the consumers, the application of measures for protecting and improving the environment and generally by aiming at sustainable development. These plans were part of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013, established and approved by the European Commission in October 2007.