SOTIRA: The Minister of Agriculture visited damaged crops (VIDEO + IMAGES)
The state will stand by the farmers who were affected by yesterday's catastrophic rains and hail, said today the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Costas Kadis.
In statements after a visit to areas of the free area of Famagusta that were affected by yesterday's catastrophic rains and hail, the Minister said that "as one can easily see the damage is extensive, in some cases it is complete. The message we want to send is that the State will stand by our farmers and we will try with procedures that will be short, to give a first advance to the affected farmers which will be a breath in the effort they make to preserve the crops. their".
He added that "according to preliminary estimates, around two thousand tens of potatoes have been affected, around 1100 tens of open crops and around 35 tens of greenhouses and permanent tree crops. We want to invite our farmers in the next few days to cooperate with the Department of Agriculture and to submit claims for their losses ".
The Minister also stated that "because we are moving to a system of agricultural insurance and risk management - and some farmers have not yet submitted their crop declarations, they will have to submit the crop declaration at the same time as submitting the claim for damages." their. "Immediately after, the first 10 - 15 days that we will receive the applications, we will make a preliminary assessment so that in the immediate future at least a significant advance is granted to the affected farmers for their relief purposes".
After stating that "this is the policy we will follow" Mr. Kadis expressed the assessment that "things are improved compared to the previous agricultural insurance system, in the sense that crops that were not previously covered are now covered. "This adjustment was made precisely to deal with this kind of extreme weather, which, unfortunately, we have to get used to with climate change, as scientists say that such extreme weather events will be more and more common."
I believe that the Minister continued that "this adjustment made with the new risk management system, which was recently passed by the Parliament, improves the situation and I hope that we will soon have the compensations that will give support to our farmers".
Answering a relevant question, Mr. Kadis said that “there are farmers who did not have time to register in the system precisely because it is the first year of implementation of the new system and a transitional period is provided that gives farmers the opportunity to declare their crops even now . Of course, this will apply only for this year and let it not be considered that it will be a given in the other years as well ", he said and explained that from now on" whoever declares his crops will receive the compensations ".
Asked how many farmers have been registered in the new system, the Minister replied that he does not know the exact number and added that "in any case, the fact is that no one stays outside. "Even today and in the coming days they can submit their crops and their claim for compensation."
Asked if it was possible to pay compensation in November, he said: "It is not something that is far beyond our means. I do not want to say a specific date, but I believe that the advance payment will definitely be given within the year ".
The General Secretary of PEK Michalis Lytras stated that "it seems that the damage to crops in the area of Kokkinochoria is huge, since several areas of kolokasi, vegetables, potatoes and not only the greenhouses have been almost completely destroyed."
He added that PEK "in cooperation with the other colleagues is to push as much as possible so that the government and the Organization that replaced OGA, which is risk management to come as soon as possible, to make the estimates to get their compensation to farmers . But until that happens, the government should make a substantial advance so that farmers can continue their crops, "he said, calling on greenhouse owners who were left without insurance" now that they have seen the damage persuade them to enter the system and be insured. " ”.
Panikos Hambas, General Secretary of EKA stated that “the extreme weather phenomena we are experiencing, show how right the organized agricultural movement was when it fought not to dissolve the OGA and in cooperation with the current Minister we have achieved a new more progressive system of farmers' insurance which are almost all covered ”.
Referring to the decision of the greenhouse owners not to be introduced in the specific system, he said that today “the producers themselves are crying and stinking and asking to join the new system. There should be universal insurance of all products, even livestock, because the extreme weather phenomena that exist abroad, we will live in Cyprus and the farmer and the breeder needs to be covered ".
Tassos Giapanis, General Secretary of Panagrotiko, referred to the visit of the President of DISY to the affected areas, described the new risk management system as "very important", since, as he said, it covers all crops and noted the need for everyone to be insured, through weather phenomena that we live and see every day ”with the hail being“ the size of an egg and causing terrible damage to the toils and toils of farmers ”.
At the same time, he called on "all farmers and especially greenhouse owners to reconsider their position and register in the new risk management plan, as well as our farmers to complete applications to receive compensation".
Takis Christodoulou, President of the New Agricultural Movement said that "we ask the producers to immediately declare the losses, while those who are not registered in the new risk management system, to do so immediately because the weather in Cyprus has now changed" as he explained "Today we saw a greenhouse with a cost of several thousand euros to have been dismantled."
He even addressed a "request" to all producers "to declare their presence in the new scheme, which we should support because" as he explained "from Kokkinochoria we unfortunately had negative interventions for the new plan of OGA. We lost a lot of time until the local producers were convinced, because "they claimed that" they are not affected by either glacier or hail ".
He also said that "unfortunately today we saw entire plantations damaged by hail and that is why we call on all producers and all breeders to register in the new risk management system".