The government has done nothing to support the Guzelyurt citrus fruit growers, president of the Turkish Cypriot Citrus Producer Association Ali Alioğlu has said.
Over the past 42 years, 44 thousand out of 74 thousand donums of land have dried up and if there is no emergency water supply, a further 6-7 thousand donums will be lost.
The water supplied by Turkey is only for domestic use at the moment.
The government needs to have a strategy in place to ensure the continued production of fruit. Farmers in Guzelyurt are well aware of the value of their land and if nothing is done to save the fruit growing industry, they will be forced to sell off their land, Alioğlu said.
In the current situation and with the constant fear of drought, people are unwilling to invest further in the land. There are two universities in Guzelyurt. In future there will be more and the population will increase.
The authorities need to be clear that fertile land is protected for agricultural use and arid land should be used for building on. All parties are responsible for this, he said.