Agriculture ministers of eight EU Mediterranean countries Monday called on the European Commission for common measures to help drought-plagued countries.
The call came during a meeting entitled "EU Mediterranean Agriculture and New Challenges", which has commenced here since Sunday with attendance by agriculture ministers from Cyprus, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Slovenia.
The ministers examined the impact that drought has on various fields of agricultural production and stock farming, said Cypriot Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Fotis Fotiou.
Upon Cyprus' proposal, the ministers decided to prepare a paper to the European Commission, calling for various measures to support drought-affected countries.
Mediterranean countries have been stricken by drought in recent period. For example, statistics released in Dec. 2006 showed that water in dams in Cyprus has decreased to dangerously low level, only accounting for 22 percent of capacity, compared to 47 percent in the same run last year. Inadequate rainfall has contributed to water shortage in the reservoirs.
Besides drought issue, the meeting also touched upon the ongoing review of EU's Common Agriculture Policy in the fields of fruit, vegetables and the wine sector, as well as Euro- Mediterranean relations and negotiations in the World Trade Organization, according to Fotiou.
He also said the agriculture ministers agreed to meet regularly and discuss problems of mutual concern. Their next meeting will take place in Portugal in a few months.