Cypriot grape production has collapsed by 93 per cent over the last 30 years, seeing the island shifting from being a grape exporter to an importer. MPs were presented with the startling statistics during Tuesday’s House agriculture committee, as those in the industry press for state aid.
The Republic produced 250 million kilos of grapes in 1991 but by 2021 it fell to just 15 million kilos, as the committee heard that misjudged decision-making and policies were to blame.
According to Diko MP Chrysanthos Savvides, the now small quantities of domestic production have forced the local market to import 8 million litres of grape produce, allegedly of questionable quality, while the current checks on the goods are insufficient. He also said that local producers are facing price shocks on multiple fronts: “The cost of production has not even been considered, fuel costs have surged, so have fertilisers.”
Savvides argued that the state should intervene and do more to support the sector, a move which would assist whichever young people remain in the industry and prevent them from also abandoning it.