Riot police were called in to intervene after livestock breeders and farmers stormed the Ministry of Agriculture and Resources building.
Farmers were staging a protest in Nicosia today against rising prices caused by the plummeting value of the Turkish Lira. A convoy of tractors had gathered in front of the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
A statement by the Cyprus Turkish Livestock Producers and Breeders Association’s president Mustafa Naimoğulları said that producers had reached the brink of bankruptcy.
Critical of the latest price hikes, Naimoğulları said “On the one hand the government has been raising prices, on the other end shopkeepers and businesses have been raising prices. For months, farmers have been making an incredible effort to keep going. Despite this, the cost of animal feed has gone up by 140%.”
Meanwhile, tempers flared up at the protest in front of the ministry building. Some people were injured after a protestor, who threw stones at the building broke several of the windows.
The protestors then stormed the building. Riot police were called in to intervene.
Agriculture Minister Erkut Şahali, who came to calm down the protesters, said that they were fully aware of the difficulties faced by the farmers, pointing out that the farmers were one of the worst affected by the economic crisis.
The government was left with no choice but to raise prices as it had run out of funds to subsidise the price hikes. “At this point we must all be realistic”, Şahali said.