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A look ahead at the future of agricultural production and water use in Cyprus


Sustainable water use and adaptation to climate change are challenging issues for the agricultural sector in Cyprus. This issue was discussed at the final public event of the AGWATER research project.

The meeting was co-organisedby The Cyprus Institute and the Agricultural Research Institute and was attended by more than 60 participants from different disciplines related to agriculture and water resources.

The AGWATER consortium, which included researchers from the Meteorology Department, Geological Survey and Cyprus University of Technology, collaborated over the past 2.5 years to help us understand what the future will bring for Cyprus. They developed new digital datasets, including an agro-ecological characterization, a soil map, and climate datasets for the past and the future.

The researchers also analysed the effect of climatic conditions on potato and barley yields from long-term agricultural experiments. Climate change projections indicate that the average annual rainfall for 2020-2050 could be between 1 and 15% lower than in 1980-2010. On the other hand, temperatures are projected to increase by 1.5 degrees. These data are currently used to analyse the effect of different policy and economic scenarios on agricultural production and water use in Cyprus for the period 2020-2050.

Following the presentation of results, the audience had the chance to provide their views for climate change adaptation. Recommendations included a better implementation of European policies and careful selection of crops and crop varieties for the future.

The AGWATER Project was co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research Promotion Foundation. Concluding the event, Dr Adriana Bruggeman, coordinator of the AGWATER project, expressed her thanks for the excellent cooperation between the different research and public organisations in Cyprus. The Cyprus Institute is looking forward to take this cooperation into 2020-2050 too!