Question by AKEL MEP Giorgos Georgiou to the Commission regarding Cyprus agricultural and stockbreeding sector
Urgent written question by AKEL MEP Giorgos Georgiou to the Commission for a written answer on measures to support of the Cyprus agricultural and stockbreeding sector
13th April 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic is provoking a major upheaval in the European and global economy. Among other effects, the pandemic has also had a serious economic impact on Cyprus’ wider agricultural and stockbreeding sector.
At the same time as farmers continue to work in the fields to keep the supply of products going on the shelves, the declining demand (closing of public markets, restriction of movement, etc.) has pushed the prices of products below costs, putting them at risk, but also the prospect of the economic ruin of producers themselves.
The extension of the deadline for submitting applications for payments for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) by one month as announced by the European Commission on 17/03 is not enough.
The tackling of this crisis is directly linked to ensuring the unhindered continuation of the production of food and the smooth running of the internal market for the entire food chain.
Within this framework, I have sent an urgent written question to the European Commission today, asking it to provide an answer as to what measures and actions it intends to take for:
- the activation of an emergency credit line for farmers and the expansion of the N + 3 rule or agricultural development programs.
- the provision of the necessary flexibility in the commitments of the member states regarding the implementation of the CAP (such as direct aid, national programs to support the common market organization for wines, agriculture, fruit/agricultural products status, agricultural development and horizontal regulation, including controls), together with the advance payment of direct payments (direct payments, linked payments and agri-environmental measures based on the area) to farmers and stockbreeders even before on-site inspections, which they may follow after.
- the activation of emergency measures under Articles 219 to 221 of Regulation no. 1308/2013, such as (1) providing financial incentives for processing such as juices, (2) providing special assistance for the storage of food and agriculture that are most affected by the closure of hotels, restaurants and cafes, (3) providing financial incentives for the free distribution of unavailable products and (4) green harvest for both perennial and annual (vulnerable) crops if the market does not absorb the production quantities, limiting the risk to farmers who decide to install annual vegetable crops).
- the provision of state aid to farmers by giving more flexibility to member states.
In addition to the question, we will continue our efforts to strengthen and protect Cypriot, as well as European farmers and stockbreeders by submitting relevant amendments in the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, together with contacts with officials from the relevant European Commission Directorate-General.
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