The government is looking into ways to improve control at check-points, along the ceasefire line, dividing Cyprus’ northern Turkish occupied areas from the southern government controlled part of the country, Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment Sophocles Aletraris has said.
In 2012, only three hundred tonnes of potatoes were transported legally from the occupied areas to the government controlled areas under the Green Line regulation, he noted.
He pointed out however that he is not in a position to know if any quantities have been channeled through other means.
"These quantities are too small, if you compare them to the production of potatoes in the government controlled areas of the Republic, which is 70 000 to 120 000 tonnes, depending on the year," he said speaking after a meeting of the House Committee on Trade.
The Ministry, he explained, is examining ways to improve control at the check-points and would forward to the European Commission its concerns about the illegal use of pesticides on crops in the occupied areas.
Referring to data on potato trade through the check-points, the Minister said that 336 tonnes crossed in 2010, 110 in 2011 and 300 in 2012.
The EU, which Cyprus joined in May 2004, in an effort to contribute to closer ties between the island’s two communities, adopted in 2004 the Green Line Regulation which defines the legal framework on the crossing of goods, persons and services to and from the island’s northern Turkish occupied areas.
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