Poverty-stricken Cypriots and foreigners are looking into garbage bins of the cooperative grower’s union (SEDIGEP) in the free area of Famagusta for leftover tomatoes, cucumbers and fruit, Philenews reported on Wednesday.
“It’s unbelievable but true, more and more poverty-stricken people in the area are looking into SEDIGEP’s bins for unsold produce of the previous day which is thrown away,” SEDIGEP member Panayiotis Maouris said.
“All of them seem to be people with families, this is a nightmare summer for hotel employees, farmers and many other people in the area,” he added.
Famagusta, the Mediterranean island’s most popular tourism area, has been financially devastated by the consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic since most hotels will remain close or work with minimum staff. Restaurateurs, farmers, shop-keepers and the economy at large have been affected.
At the same time, agricultural producers are complaining of strong competition from the EU and other countries.
“Growers are struggling to make ends meet, they plant tomatoes and cucumbers since spring but the moment prices are raised a bit, tomatoes and cucumbers from the EU start flooding the market,” a grower said.
“We cannot afford to pay even our bills with what we make, we make no profit,” he added.