Livestock Production and Nutrition Section
Activities of the Livestock Production and Nutrition Section
The responsibilities of the Livestock Production and Nutrition Section cover the whole spectrum of activities related to dairy cattle and beef, sheep and goat, pig, poultry and rabbit sectors.
The Section provides technical advice and expertise services on all aspects of management, nutrition and genetic improvement of livestock, through the following actions:
1. Technical advice and training for the preparation of Cypriot dairy products such as Halloumi cheese, yogurt, Pafitiko cheese, Flaouna cheese and Telemes.
2. Training / education of livestock farmers, as part of the annual programs organized by the Department of Agriculture for the farmers both at individual level, with visits to the units, and at group level in the Communities or the Departments training centers, on all subjects concerning the Section.
3. The annual bovine, pig, sheep and goat, cattle and rabbit population review is carried out (in collaboration with the District Agricultural Offices). The Poultry review is conducted every three years and the recording of hen egg production and breeding hens is conducted annually.
4. Weekly collection and dispatch of pigmeat, beef, eggs, lamb meat, poultry meat, cow's milk and Halloumi cheese prices to the European Commission and the Statistical Service.
5. Preparation of articles, per quarter, for the column "Seasonal Agricultural Occupation" of the "Farmer" magazine.
6. Advice for the design of architectural livestock buildings construction projects.
7. Monthly report of production and trade of hatching eggs and chicks to the Statistical Service, in order to inform EUROSTAT and the European Commission.
8. Chick production forecast by computing mechanism.
9. Aiming at the genetic improvement of both sheep and goat breeds (local breeds), the Department of Agriculture maintains a farm, the Acheleia Livestock Station in the province of Paphos. The objective is the production and issue of animals of high genetic value to farmers (high milk production, free from scrapie disease etc), the training of the personnel of the Department of Agriculture and the training of sheep and goat farmers. In the abovementioned farm, the intensive farming system is being applied. The target of this action is the evaluation and selection of improved animals that have high genetic value, in order to sell them to farmers so that they will be able to replace all their animals with selective and improved male and female animals, of high genetic value.
10. Planning for the increase of sheep and goat milk. One of the main objectives of the Department of Agriculture and the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment is the increase of sheep and goat milk production. The related strategic plan is being prepared and it is aiming to contribute to this goal through various provisions. These are of great importance due to the need of covering Halloumi cheese manufacturing needs as part of the standard, in view of the forthcoming possible adoption of Halloumi cheese as a Protected Designation of Origin product (PDO).
11. Involvement in the implementation and maintenance of the action plan to tackle scrapie disease in sheep and goats in collaboration with the Veterinary Services and the Agricultural Research Institute.
12. Preparation of Measure 14 "Livestock Welfare" which intends to make substantial improvements in sheep and goats welfare. It will be achieved by designing and implementing a list of actions that go beyond the minimum mandatory requirements and normal practices.
The Livestock Production and Nutrition Section is responsible for the implementation of legislation which is directly related to the livestock section, as follows:
(a) The Improvement of Animals Law of 2001 [86(I)/ 2001], which refers to the organization and recognition of breeders associations of particular breeds in live animals marketing processes for breeding and germplasm, and the procedures for assessing the genetic value of pure-bred animals. It’s scope covers cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and horses.
(b) The Milk (written contracts for the delivery of raw milk) Law of 2017 [50(I)/2017].
In addition to the above activities, the Section was and is involved in the preparation of the Rural Development Programmes 2004-2006, 2007-2013 and 2014-2020. The Section prepares the list of eligible actions for the pre mentioned areas, regarding the status of “Investment in Agricultural and Livestock Farms” and is responsible for the preparation of the Measure “Waste Management Scheme in Livestock Farms” and the “Modernization of Agricultural and Livestock Farms”. Additionally, the Section is responsible for the preparation of state aids and other aids. The Section also prepares/ presents radio and television programs, informs/ advises farmers and consumers and educates the Department Inspectors in the relative Legislation, by conducting seminars and by publishing technical manuals and articles in newspapers. The Section is responsible for the handling of correspondence on matters relating to its activities (such as Planning Permission, Building Permits, etc.) and represents the Department of Agriculture in meetings with other governmental Departments and Services.
The Livestock Production and Nutrition Section represents the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment in the Management Committees for animal products, the Commission's Expert Groups on milk statistics and classification of beef and pigs and in Council Working Groups for milk and dairy products.
An Officer of the Section has been appointed as a member and participates in the meetings of the Technical Meal Committee of the National Guard, the Fodder Council, the Veterinary Medicines Council etc.