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Cyprus Agriculture and Fishing Overview
Agriculture and fishing
About one-sixth of Cyprus's land area is cultivable, and around one-fifth of this is irrigation. Since the division of the island in 1974, the Greek Cypriots have modernized agriculture in the south, but the lack of water puts limits on its development. Water supply is even scarcer in the north and agricultural productivity is lower. Nevertheless, agriculture still has more importance for the economy than in the south.
Cereals are grown mainly on the Mesaoria plain east of Nicosia, a plain that extends both north and south on the border between both parts of the island and which has extensive irrigation facilities. Citrus fruits, olives and almonds are grown on the naturally more water-rich Morphous Plain in the west. An intense production of citrus, vegetables and melons takes place on both sides of the border between Morphou Bay and the Troodos Massif.
Cultivations of apples, cherries and especially grapes are climbing on the mountain slopes in the south. The Greek Cypriots produce large quantities of wine, both red and white. In the south, potatoes, which are harvested twice a year, have also become an important crop. One difficulty is that land ownership is split on a number of small lots.
About a fifth of the area is used as pasture. Animal breeding in both the north and the south is mainly focused on sheep and chickens.
A large part of Cyprus's forests have previously been decomposed, which has led to soil erosion on many slopes. Today, forests, mainly pine trees, grow on just over one-seventh of the area of Cyprus. The largest forests are found in the Troodos massif.
Although Cyprus is surrounded by the sea, fishing does not play a major role, as the waters around the island are quite poor in fish.
FACTS - AGRICULTURE
Agriculture's share of GDP
1.7 percent (2018)
Percentage of land used for agriculture
12.2 percent (2016)
Nine candidates in the presidential election
Nine people stand in the presidential election to be held on January 28, 2018. Favorite among them is sitting President Nikos Anastasiadis, who has been surfing on a wave of popularity since the Cypriot economy has turned upward during his term in office. The main challenger is the independent politician Stavros Malas considered to be. He is supported by the opposition party Akel. Mala's main criticism of Anastasiades is that he failed in the peace talks with Northern Cyprus.
Strong economic recovery
Cyprus has a budget surplus of almost half a billion euros for the first ten months of 2017. It should be compared with a deficit of one billion euros during the crisis year 2012. The emergency loan of 10 billion euros that Cyprus was forced to take out of the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan agency in 2013 has now repaid.
Anastasiadis wants to be re-elected
President Anastasiadis announces that he will stand for re-election in January 2018. He says his main ambition is to be able, during a new term, to complete the peace talks with the Turkish Cypriots that broke down in July.
UN aid is blocked in Northern Cyprus
For the first time in decades, the Turkish Cypriot authorities are halting a UN supply of supplies to a few hundred Greek Cypriots and Maronites living on the Karpas Peninsula in northeastern Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriot government says the aid broadcasts are not needed, as they give the impression that the Christians would be trapped on occupied land. The Turkish Cypriots' decision to demand customs and other charges for the deliveries is a kind of protest against the recent attempts to reunite the island in July.
Failed test drilling outside Cyprus
The Italian-French consortium Eni-Total has not found sufficient reserves of natural gas outside Cyprus for the recovery to be profitable. Earlier, Italian-South Korean Eni-Kogas failed to find commercially viable quantities of gas in the area.
The UN mediator resigns
UN Cyprus mediator Espen Barth Eide resigns. He says at his departure from the island that a solution to Cyprus's problems is now entirely dependent on the Cypriots themselves. The UN cannot take new initiatives.
Vocabulary on gas rights
In the wake of the failed peace talks, a minor word dispute between Turkey and Greece erupts on gas supplies in the Mediterranean around Cyprus. Turkish President Erdoğan urges all energy companies to stay away from the Cypriot waters as long as there is no peace agreement. He threatens companies that begin to prospect for gas deposits with financial consequences unless the Turkish Cypriots' financial rights are respected. Greek Prime Minister Tsipras replies that international law authorizes the Government of Cyprus to exploit the deposits and that Greece wholeheartedly supports this.
The peace talks break down
Despite optimistic disagreements at first, the negotiations for a peace agreement break down once again. Turkey's refusal to bring home its soldiers from the island and the demands for guarantees for the security of the Turkish Cypriots appear to have been the issues that caused the talks to fail. The Turkish government says the collapse shows that the UN is unable to mediate between the Cypriot parties.
Peace talks in Switzerland
During mediation by the UN, the parties on the shared island resume attempts to end the conflict. The two presidents meet in a Swiss resort, together with the foreign ministers of Greece and Turkey and the EU's foreign chief. At the top of the agenda are security issues, where a reduced number of Turkish soldiers on the island is a crucial element. According to UN mediator Espen Barth Eide, the parties "largely" agree on a future division of power, land ownership, economic issues and relations with the EU. However, the Turkish Foreign Minister says that Greeks and Greek Cypriots must "stop dreaming" that Turkey will withdraw all its more than 35,000 soldiers from the northern part of the island.
The two Cypriot leaders agree to resume negotiations on a peace agreement for the island. The decision is made at a meeting in New York with UN Secretary-General António Guterres. The intention is to convene a conference in June with Cyprus's three protection forces Great Britain, Greece and Turkey.
UN mediation is canceled
The future of the peace process is uncertain since the UN-led negotiations are stranded and mediator Espen Barth Eide has decided to cancel his shuttle diplomacy. The parties agree that only an international conference with the three guarantee powers United Kingdom, Greece and Turkey can break the deadlock. The Greek Cypriots have wanted to concentrate the negotiations on security issues while the Turkish Cypriot side first wanted to resolve the issue of a future division of power.
Peace process started again
The Cypriot leaders resume negotiations for a reunification of the shared island. They agree to meet four more times in the near future.
School law is being torn down
Parliament is tearing up the decision in February that the Greek Cypriot schools should pay attention to the 1950 referendum on the accession of Cyprus to Greece. The decision provoked such outrage among Turkish Cypriots that peace negotiations ended. Now Turkish Cypriot leader Akıncı says he is ready to resume negotiations immediately. The reconciliation has been preceded by intensive UN mediation.
Test drilling in the sea can begin
Four foreign companies have secured contracts with the Cypriot state to look for oil and gas in the sea off the island, the government announces. They are American ExxonMobil, Qatar Petroleum, Italian ENI and French Total. The test drilling is expected to start during the year.
History lessons interfere with peace efforts
The peace talks have been suspended since the Greek Cypriots reportedly refused to back a resolution by their parliament that the country's schools should mark a referendum in 1950 - before Cyprus independence - on "enosis", Cyprus's accession to Greece. The right-wing extremist party Elam has been consulted for a proposal that all middle school students should be given extra lessons on enosis. According to Turkish Cypriot leader Akıncı, his Greek Cypriot colleague Anastasiadis left the negotiations. In the 1950 referendum, a large majority of Greek Cypriots said yes to accession to Greece, but the vote was not legally binding.
The appeal for a new UN conference
The Cypriot leaders are appealing to the UN to organize a new international peace conference in March on security measures that could lead to reunification of the island. They address their call to the World Organization after agreeing with UN mediator Espen Barth Eide that they are unable to move on their own.
Turkish troop presence troubles
The Turkish presence of the Turkish soldiers in Cyprus appears to be one of the most difficult questions to solve. While the Greek foreign minister says no solution to the crisis is possible as long as there are Turkish soldiers left in the north, the Turkish president says that it is not a question of pulling off all the soldiers.
New UN chiefs intervene
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is taking part in the Geneva negotiations. It is his first trip abroad in the office. Cyprus's three "guarantee powers" Greece, Turkey and the UK also join the negotiations with their foreign ministers.
New attempts to unite the island
The two Cypriot leaders arrive in Geneva where they will discuss for three days the issues that remain to reach peace on the island.