05 Dec Soils for life – World Soil Day
Mountain Terraces are a common feature of viticultural mountain landscape in Cyprus. As in most regions of the Mediterranean, they are often used for growing grapes which in most recent decades, terracing farming is being progressively abandoned for the lack of economic viability of traditional farming systems. Associated with the abandonment of terraces, lack of dry-stoned walls maintenance has been shown to negatively impact soils, with the alarming signs of probable desertification, thereby increasing challenges for a revival of mountain agriculture.
Mountain Farming & Terraces
Soils and pulses, a symbiosis for life
The 2016 theme on World Soil Day (5th of December) for which The Cyprus Institute organizes a mountain terrace rehabilitation workshop, part of a series of public events that are co-organized in collaboration with where Dry stone wall terraces are a long-held tradition of the Troodos Mountain and have enabled agricultural production on these steep slopes.
Upon progressive abandonment of mountain agriculture, increase loss of indigenous terrace maintenance know-how, creates multiple concerns which research has intended to address. For the past years, dry-stone experts, local communities and scientists have joined forces to combat land degradation and pass this know-how to the next generation. A timely focus on the importance that the soil has in providing answers to constant environmental changes, but also much needed encouragement to prevent desertification and safeguarding the environment and downstream infrastructures.
As part of the RECARE project which enabled multidisciplinary team of 27 different organisations to find ways of assessing the current threats to soils, Cyprus further pursues finding innovative solutions to prevent further soil degradation in the context of European collaboration.
Program implemented: 1 November 2013, end date: 31 October 2018 (duration 60 months)
The wineries in the terraced mountains of Cyprus
Surmounting challenges of high production costs, land abandonment, and rural depopulation.
Exploring the viability and prospects of mountain farming, it is found that mountain winery owners do envision a future where abandoned mountain plots can be productively utilized, proving financially viable agribusinesses options especially when there exists a common purpose and desire for the revitalization of mountain farming with the potential development of other rural enterprises and create employment opportunities.