The broad agricultural sector continues to be a fundamental sector of the Cyprus economy, both with respect to the production of essential food items for the population and exports and with respect to the employment of thousands of rural residents and the containment of the depopulation of the villages.
The Agricultural Research Institute (ARI) is a Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment. It is the sole institution engaged in agricultural research and depends mainly on Government funding, though during the last few years additional funds were obtained through European research projects.
The Agricultural Insurance Organization is a semi-governmental, non-profit oriented organization and functions under the supervision of the State which is implemented by the Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment.
Throughout its long history Cyprus has always been confronted with the problem of water shortage. Droughts are a very usual phenomenon. Cyprus has no rivers with perennial flow while rainfall is highly variable and droughts occur frequently.
The Department of Fisheries and Marine Research developed activities in multidisciplinary fields concerning the sustainable use of marine resources, the development and sound management of fisheries and aquaculture, the marine ecology, the protection of endangered species and habitats, physical and chemical oceanography and the prevention and combat of marine pollution.
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.
The Veterinary Services are functioning under the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment and are regulated by the National Veterinary Legislation which is fully in line with the EU Acquis.
The Geological Survey Department is the technical advisor to the government on issues relating to groundwater, mineral resources and the protection of the built and natural environment. The main Sections of the Department are those of the Hydrogeology, Engineering Geology, Economic Geology, Regional Geology, Geophysics and Seismology and, Environmental Geology.
The mining history of Cyprus is very rich because of the copper metal production, which dates back to 2.500 BC. Unfortunately the mining industry has been on the decline (practically non - existent) for the last three decades.
The Meteorological Service of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment is responsible for the provision of meteorological services for the requirements of civil aviation, the collection of meteorological data and information, the compilation of climatological statistics and monitoring of the climatic variations and trends and the preparation of climatological studies and reports.