Cyprus Land Consolidation
The Land Consolidation Department is responsible for the co-ordination, administration and execution of land consolidation measures, in accordance with the agricultural policy of the Government, which aims at raising the agricultural income and creating a better working and living environment for the farmers and the rural population.
Land consolidation is the main remedial measure applied so far in Cyprus, in an effort to eliminate land fragmentation, to create economically viable holdings and improve the prevailing defective land tenure structure which constitutes a major structural and technical obstacle to the rational development of agriculture. The Cyprus land consolidation legislation provides for landscape renovation and the protection of the environment within land consolidation areas, and focuses, among other things, on the planting of shrubs and trees, the creation of small parks / recreation areas in non – agricultural land and the protection / conservation of the cultural heritage and the physical features within land consolidation areas, such as the restoration of traditional fountains, old watermills and remnants of railway lines and the preservation of special areas.
In order to accomplish these, the Department makes use, primarily, of the grouping – up of the fragmented and scattered land ownerships into compact holdings, the construction of a new rural road network serving all new plots, the enlargement of small holdings by purchasing private, church and state land and distributing it to the farmers, on specific criteria, the creation of regularly – shaped plots of land, the elimination of dual and multiple ownerships and of ownerships held in undivided shares. The main results obtained from the so far implementation of land consolidation measures concern the increase in the size of ownerships by 29%, on average, the elimination of land fragmentation by 56% and the enlargement of the land plot size by 116%, the elimination of mixed land tenures by 89%, the increase of the farm road network length by 204%, and the implementation of landscape renovation works of a total expenditure of CY 214.000.
Up to the end of 2003, about 1 225km of farm roads were constructed / improved in 77 land consolidation areas, thus marking an increase of 204%, over the pre - consolidation total, which was 403km. The economically viable holding for the year 2003 was defined as the one which produces an annual gross income of CY 20.000. All the above mentioned changes led to increases in production by 100%, in capital and labor productivity by 45% and 100% respectively, and in the number of economically viable holdings by 16%, with consequent rises in the agricultural income, up to 300%.