Crop production was by far the most important component
agriculture. In 1988 it contributed 71 percent of total
in agriculture, compared with 19 percent for livestock.
production contributed 6 percent; the shares of fishing
forestry were 3 and 1 percent, respectively.
A wide range of crops were grown on Cyprus. Cereals
barley), legumes, vegetables (carrots, potatoes, and
fruit and other tree crops (almonds, apples, bananas,
grapes, grapefruit, lemons, melons, olives, oranges, and
table 12, Appendix).
Crops were rainfed or irrigated. Wheat and barley were
or dryland crops, as were carobs, olives, fodder, and wine
Crops that required irrigation included vegetables, citrus
deciduous fruits, bananas, and table grapes. These
accounted for half of agricultural production.
Cereals, mainly wheat and barley, grew mostly on the
the island's central plain. Production fluctuated widely,
on rainfall. Wheat's importance relative to barley
steadily during the 1980s, the result of greater subsidies
the raising of barley. Despite the subsidies and a
barley production, only part of the domestic need for
met, and substantial imports were necessary.
Market vegetables grew in many areas around the island.
potato was the most important of these crops, far
tomatoes, carrots, water and sweet melons, cucumbers, and
both weight and value. In fact, the potato was the most
agricultural product in the late 1980s, during which more
percent of its production was exported (see
1987 the potato earned 10 percent of the total value of
exports, more than any other item except clothing. Because
Cypriot potato was harvested twice, in winter and in early
it had a competitive advantage in the European market.
the largest consumer. A shortage of suitable land and a
irrigation meant that the potato's importance for Cypriot
agriculture would likely decline in the 1990s, but it
one of the sector's main supports.
Citrus production was another irrigated crop that was
for exports; about 75 percent of production was consumed
Groves of oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and tangerines were
along the coasts. Unlike potato production, that of citrus
was expected to expand greatly in the 1990s, and one
foresaw a yield of 350,000 tons by the turn of the
compared with 169,000 tons in 1989.
Viniculture and the production of wine have been major
activities for centuries in Cyprus. Most vineyards are
the southwestern part of the island on the slopes of the
Mountains in the Paphos district and in hilly areas in the
district. Some grapes were grown for table consumption,
four-fifths of the harvest was used for wine, two-thirds
exported. In 1989 the grape harvest amounted to 212,000
wine production was 34.1 million liters. The most commonly
grapes were the xymisteria and mavro varieties. Systematic
were undertaken by the government to improve the quality
grapes, and different kinds of wine were manufactured to
exports, mainly to Europe.
Deciduous tree crops common to temperate climates,
olives, apples, pears, peaches, carobs, and cherries, were
grown. These crops required some cool weather during the
the orchards were almost entirely in mountainous areas.
trees, which do not need cool weather, were widespread on
plains. Olives were easily the most important export item
Data as of January 1991