Country Listing

Cyprus Table of Contents


Primary Sector

The primary sector of the Turkish Cypriot economy accounted for about one-tenth of the total GDP at the beginning of the 1990s, but its share was in decline, indicating that the economy was modernizing. Agriculture made up virtually all of the primary sector; fishing and forestry together accounted for less than 1 percent of Turkish Cypriot GDP in 1990.


Although there was a sharp rise in the urban population in the 1980s, the "TRNC" still had a significant rural element. Close to three-fourths of its land was used for farming or forestry, and almost a third of its work force was employed in this sector. Even in the second half of the 1980s, agricultural products made up well over half of all exports. The economy of the "TRNC" was becoming more developed, however, and by 1990 agriculture's share of GDP was only about 9 percent, half of its share in 1980.

Turkish Cypriot farming became increasingly mechanized during the 1980s. At the end of the decade there were 4,500 tractors in the "TRNC," compared with 975 in 1975, and 220 combines. Modernization also brought extensive use of fertilizers, insecticides, and feeds. In some areas, however, where modern methods were not practical, traditional farming methods were still to be seen.

The government attempted to ensure a steady rise in agricultural production by participating directly in this sector. It established the necessary infrastructure by carrying out irrigation projects, promoting land consolidation, and constructing farm roads. The state also oversaw broad research and education programs to inform farmers of the latest agricultural methods. A quasi-governmental agency, Tarim Sigortasi, provided insurance against crop failures. In addition, the government helped farmers to organize the marketing of their produce. Finally, the state provided agricultural credits and subsidies to farmers to help them improve their production and increase their incomes.

Data as of January 1991