The overall objective of EU-financed Third Rural Development grant scheme, totalling € 3 million, is to increase the competitiveness of the Turkish Cypriot community’s rural economy by enhancing cooperation among producers and other rural economic actors, provide support to sustainable farming and small scale processing investments, strengthen agricultural production sectors and increase diversification of activities such as small-scale tourism. Two measures were included in the grant scheme guidelines: improving farm production and post-harvest capacities, and strengthening agricultural production sectors; and strengthening rural tourism-related activities.
The ongoing projects include support to individual farmers, companies and NGOs for a mix of equipment, training and advisory services. The majority of the projects include provision of equipment to improve farm productivity and competitiveness. Other support includes preservation of cultural heritage (e.g. handicraft lacework and specialist foods production), agro-industry machinery, renewable energy focus and support to the olive and pomegranate sectors.