21 C
Nicosia
Monday, May 27, 2024

Grain Agreement – How Cyprus was affected by Russia's withdrawal

Must read

Representatives of agricultural organizations warn of the need to take measures to avoid problems in the near future

ΣυμφωνΙα σιτηρoν - Πoσ επ ηρεαστηκε η Κyπρος απo την αποχoρ&eta ;ση της Ρωσiας

At the moment there does not seem to be a problem in the supply, stocks and grain prices in Cyprus, an official of the Ministry of Agriculture and representatives of agricultural organizations told KYPE, on the occasion of Russia's withdrawal from the Black Sea agreement. The latter warn, however, of the need to take measures in order to avoid problems in the immediate future.

The head of the Sectors of Production Sector of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, First Agriculture Officer Constantis Spanassiis, told KYPE that Cyprus imports more than 85% of barley for animal feed, while corn, soybeans and other derivatives are imported exclusively.

Regarding grains intended for human consumption, “things are a little better, since about up to 30% can be covered by local production, especially durum wheat, which makes for semolina,” he added.

Asked if Cyprus was affected by Russia's withdrawal from the Black Sea agreement, Mr Spanassiis said there was a disruption in the market. He estimated that “we will not have a big disruption, apart from a small increase in the price that has occurred”, calculating that there will be no continuation of the increases, because there will be other itineraries through the EU, “with the solidarity lines, to go to its ports EU to export. There are also some ports in Ukraine that continue to export. If there is nothing else, as there was last (week) when there were attacks on grain warehouses, I hope that we will not have the turmoil that we had when the invasion started,” he noted.

He added that after the complaint of the agreement from Russia, there was a 5-10% increase in price. He added that no cargoes have yet arrived in Cyprus after the termination of the contract, but now the first cargoes will arrive.

“I have the impression that at the moment we do not have any indication that leads us to either panic, nor do we have any indication that there will be shortages. We also have some stocks, which were bought last year, as soon as the crisis started, not knowing how it will develop. We made sure, as a state, that we have some reserves that will last us up to a month. But, I believe that it will not be necessary for any reason to use the stocks”, he concluded.

The reduction in prices in the previous period has been beneficial for Cyprus, no increases in products should be expected

The drop in grain prices that occurred due to the Black Sea agreement was beneficial for the region, animal husbandry and the economy, the President of the Pan-Cyprus Grain Producers Organization and President of the Panagrotic Association of Cyprus, Kyriakos Kailas, told KYPE.

< p>He noted, however, that wheat producers have been affected, who sowed at increased costs and harvested when prices had fallen, since Cyprus is the first in time to harvest, worldwide. He said that the government has been asked to support the farmers who suffered loss due to the price difference.

Regarding the new upward trend in prices, after Russia's withdrawal from the Black Sea agreement, Mr. Kailas said that he does not expect to have new increases in products, in milk, eggs, meat, flour and bread, as the prices they had been raised after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, when the price of grain doubled. In contrast, after the Black Sea agreement, when prices fell, there were no corresponding reductions in these products.

“I had not seen reductions during the period when grain went from €400 to €200, not I saw decreases in the prices of goods, so we should not see increases now,” he said, adding that “we should not accept any increase in milk, meat, eggs or anything else.”

Regarding the availability of grain for import, after Russia's withdrawal from the agreement, Mr. Kailas said that there are large quantities of grain that have been channeled to European countries, such as Bulgaria, Romania, which, however, will not be given at the prices were purchased. “Due to the closure of the Black Sea, the grain traders, 3-4 major companies worldwide, will benefit. There have been increases of around €100 per ton since the day the agreement was dissolved,” he said.

He added, however, that Cyprus is a small country with small needs and currently there are daily ships in port for imports. There are, in addition, the strategic stocks, which the government bought last year. Therefore, he concluded, there is not expected to be an issue of availability, especially for livestock stocks.

The President of the All-Cyprus Wheat Producers Organization warned, however, that human reserves for durum wheat, from which flour is produced, are running low. “There were some stocks that were enough for three months. Due to the increase in price, their stocks have gone down a lot and the government needs to see this. It is still very early, but the authorities should see it. For livestock there are quantities, for human they must see it”, he underlined.

Finally, Mr. Kailas asked consumers to prefer Cypriot agricultural products. “Anything produced from our place should be preferred because of the special taste and quality but also because it helps the place, the economy and the farmers who are going through a very difficult time,” he said.

Preparing to import hay this year if the drought continues

The Secretary General of the Cyprus Farmers' Union (EKA), Panikos Hambas, warned of an ominous immediate future if the war in Ukraine and climate change continue. In particular, he told KYPE that if this year's drought continues next year, the government should prepare to import hay bales, in order to continue uninterrupted milk production for halloumi.

“Cyprus is affected by climate change. We had no rain this year. The predictions are that if next year, we don't have a good year in terms of rainfall, Cyprus will be forced to import several tons of animal feed and hay, so that we can continue to have the milk production” needed to make halloumi, he said.

Referring to the war in Ukraine, Mr. Habas said that large areas of grain fields are being destroyed by it, while he said, with a reservation, that agricultural production may also be contaminated, with a risk to the nutrition of people, not only animals.

“On the one hand the war and on the other the drought, there will be big problems”, he added.

The Secretary General of EKA stressed that there is a need to redesign the agricultural policy of Cyprus. Asked to present EKA's proposals on the matter, he said that incentives need to be given to the areas abandoned by residents, to recultivate the abandoned plots. “Infrastructure needs to be built for decentralization, to help young couples engage in the primary sector. We cannot depend only on ships,” he said, adding that the government should give special importance to the primary sector. “It is necessary at a fast pace, away from bureaucracies, to make such decisions for an immediate return to these areas”, he said, repeating that “if next year the rainfall is not satisfactory, Cyprus should start planning for the import of balls from now on hay”.

Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy

- Advertisement -AliExpress WW

More articles

- Advertisement -AliExpress WW

Latest article