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The Department of Agriculture was founded in 1896 and was one of the first departments created by the British Colonial Government. The first Director of the Department to be appointed was the internationally famous agriculturist Panagiotis Gennadios from Greece and in 1913, as part of an overall governmental reorganization, the Department of Agriculture was upgraded. The primary objective of the Department of Agriculture was, and remains to this day, rural development and the well-being of the rural population. The first important station in the history of the Department coincides with the independence of Cyprus in 1960, when the Department was staffed with suitable scientific personnel, while a few years later, in 1966, the Agricultural Extension Service was reorganised, and to this day continues to play a vital and important role in the education of local farmers.
Decisive also was the role of the Department in the difficult years that followed the Turkish invasion, when the Department of Agriculture made every effort to support Cypriot agriculture to achieve quick recovery. The Department’s personnel made huge efforts during the negotiations on the Customs Union of Cyprus with the then EEC, and, later, during the negotiations for accession of the country into the European Union (EU).
With the accession of Cyprus to the European Union in May 2004, as was expected, the role of the Department of Agriculture changed greatly in order to meet the increased requirements of the new European environment. Thus, after accession, the Department of Agriculture not only began to implement European policy in agriculture as elaborated in the accession negotiations, but also to participate actively in its reform. In addition, in the context of the implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the Department of Agriculture, upon accession, prepared and implemented the Rural Development Plan 2004-2006, which sought to revive the rural economy. Through this Plan, hundreds of units have improved but also many new viable farms have been created. It should also be noted that this was the first time that agri-environmental measures began to be implemented, as well as measures to support less-favoured areas. In total, €160m was spent. Another noteworthy fact is that absorption of the Community contribution has reached almost 100%.
Subsequently, the Department has began to implement the Rural Development Programme (RDP) for the period 2007-2013. At the same time, since accession, the Department of Agriculture has promoted and administered a multitude of Legislations arising from the acquis, such as legislation for the control of feed, agrochemicals and many others. Regarding the Department’s participation in the CAP reform (and of the rest of the Community legislative framework and other Community legislation), it should be noted that its personnel participate actively in all the EU institutions in which decisions are taken, always aiming to safeguard the interests of our rural population.
Last Modified at: 20/09/2019 11:20:00 AM
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