Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

16s. 6d. for barley per imperial quarter. By the end of August, it became apparent that a considerable importation of grain from abroad would be . to carry through the winter—but although imports then commenced, and prices also began to advance, it was not .#. last two months of the year that any serious rise in prices took place. By the end of the year, and notwithstanding considerable importations of grain from Turkey, prices here had risen to £2.16s. for wheat, and £1.17s. for barley.”

“Owing to prices having continuously advanced in Syria, Caramania, and Anatolia—from whence supplies for Cyprus could be brought—imports not only cost more money to . importer, but supplies began also to fall off in quantity, so that by the end of March of the present year stocks in Cyprus were well-nigh exhausted, notwithstanding that prices had risen to about 4.3.15s. for wheat and £2.7s, for barley, with an insufficient supply for the wants of the island till next harvest. Great numbers of the quasi-starving peasants were obliged to subsist on the edible roots of such indigenous plants as they could dig up in the fields, using also locust beans to a large extent in lieu of cereals. The tithes of the year collected by the Government amounted to only a small amount, which had all to be given out to the peasant farmers for seed, without which they had not the means of replanting their fields for the harvests of 1874.”

“Altogether, 1873 has proved in every respect one of the most disastrous years remembered in Cyprus, and, owing to the great scarcity and high price of food, the borders of łoń. have been touched, and the hardship and suffering are great.”

From Consul Riddell's Report for 1874:

“The year 1874 will be remembered as one of the greatest abundance within the memory of any living inhabitant. Generally all the crops of 1874 in this island have been abundant, whilst those of cereals have far surpassed the most sanguine computation. Both barley and wheat, especially the former, having met with an active demand for exportation, the produce has been turned into money as fast as it could be brought to market, and at more than the usual average prices for Cyprus grain. At the end of the year there had been ex ...] to Europe alone 48,000 quarters of wheat and 66,800 quarters of barley, besides considerable quantities, of which no correct estimate can be obtained, sent to Syria and Anatolia, and the year closed with large quantities of both wheat and barley still existing in the island for export thereafter. The average price paid for wheat may be estimated at £2. 3s. and of barley £1 1s. per imperial quarter, put free on board ship. A new and remarkable feature in the grain trade of Cyprus is the quantity of barlay exported to England, carried there chiefly by steamers. Of the total quantity of barley exported to Europe to the end of 1874, estimated at 66,800 quarters, and valued at £70,350, no less than 41,300 quarters, valued at £43,365, were sent to England.”

From Consul Riddell's Report for 1875:—

“The crops, though yielding less in quantity than in 1874, were nevertheless a good fair average, and grain met with an active export demand at fair rices; indeed, at the beginning of the season wheat found numerous buyers or Italy at exceptionally high prices, though the average figure for the year is computed at about £1. 12s. per imperial quarter. At the beginning of the season the Italian demand pushed up the price to about £2 to £2 2s. per *. Barley realized an average of about 17s, per quarter. Of barley there was exported to Great Britain in 1875 about 45,000 quarters, against 41,300 quarters in 1874.”

From Consul Pierides' Report for 1876:—

“The rainfall during the winter of 1875 and the spring of 1876 was insignificant, so that the grain crops of 1876 were very short, and the exports amounted to only one-third or even one-fourth of those in 1875, and the quality of both wheat and barley was poor. The average price for wheat was

Cotton.

30s. per quarter, and that of barley 14s, free on board. The wheat was chiefly shipped to Italy, and barley to Belgium and England, with three or four small cargoes to Africa.”

From Consul Watkins' Report for 1877:

“Although a very fair proportion of land was put under cultivation, the result of the grain crops for the year 1877 is as follows:–800,000 kilos. of wheat, against 1,600,000 in 1876; 1,500,000 kilos. of barley, against 2,400,000 in 1876.

“Of this a little was exported in the early part of the harvest, and when it was thought that the crops would succeed better than they eventually did ; as the season, however, advanced, it was found necessary to import rather than to export, and prices of grain increased from £1.10s. to £2, 15s. for wheat per quarter, and from 17s. to £1. 12s, for barley per quarter,

Only a very small quantity of oats is raised in Cyprus, but heavy crops have been obtained. Maize is also but little grown, and the quality is very poor; the plant only attains a height of 4 ft. or 5 ft., but better cultivation and irrigation would very much improve this crop.

Cotton is a very important product of Cyprus, and though the native seed is not of a very superior description, the island is capable of producing most serviceable qualities of cotton wool. During the American War, American seeds were introduced into Cyprus, and proved a great success, the fibre is excellent, but the staple is somewhat short. Consul Lang himself tried the New Orleans seed with profitable results, but he mentions a difficulty experienced by peasant cultivators in the production of cotton from American seed. It appears that the pods produced by it open out at maturity so fully, that, unless the cotton is at once picked, it falls on to the ground and deteriorates, thus the picking during the season requires to be done almost daily, but this does not suit the tax-gatherer who has to be in attendance to receive his eighth portion; and this circumstance alone prevents many native growers from "..."; this seed, although they acknowledge its advantages. Consul Lang suggests that as nearly all the cotton grown in the island is exported, it would be of advantage to the grower that the tax imposed upon the produce should be collected at the time of shipment, and not when the crop is gathered. Mariti relates that under the Venetian rule, 30,000 bales, or 6,600,000 lbs. of cotton were annually exported from Cyprus; latterly, the quantity produced is comparatively very small, as is shown by the reports which follow, and it is considered that perhaps not more than one-twentieth part of the cotton which the island is capable of producing, has recently been grown. The greater part of that which is now exported is sent to France and Austria. Intimately connected with the growth of cotton is the subject of the increase of the means of irrigation, and if, as suggested by competent authorities, water could be obtained in Cyprus by the artesian system, the profits that might be realized in this branch of agriculture alone, would be great.

The best time for sowing cotton is in April or May, but until very lately the growers were compelled to wait for the swarms of locusts to cross the land before sowing, otherwise the whole crop would have been destroyed. The loss occasioned by deferring the sowing till so late is alluded to in Chapter VII, but now fortunately owing to the destruction of the locusts, the seed can be put into the ground at the proper time, and the cotton is fit for picking before the autumnal rains, which are injurious to it. The seeds are planted three and four together at proper distances, and when the shoots appear above ground, the strongest plant is allowed to remain, and the rest removed. The ground is hoed in June or July, and the cotton collected in October or the beginning of November.

The yield averages about two bales of 250 lbs. each to the acre, and its value is about 4d. per pound.

There are various qualities of cotton, called the best, good mercantile, passable, and mercantile; there is also an inferior kind known by the name of scovazze, which is consumed on the island.

From Consul Riddell's Report for 1872 —

“The yield of 1872 has proved very deceptive. The cotton lands were planted under favourable auspices, and the seed sprouted readily:—the plants as they grew up had a vigorous and healthy appearance, flowering most abundantly, and until the end of September there was every appearance to justify the expectation of an abundant yield of good quality; from that time, whether owing to some atmospheric influences or other unknown causes, a great change was observable in all the cotton fields, the plants lost their vigour, the flowers dropped off, and many of the bolls which had already formed, shrivelled and fell off the plant, whilst a of: proportion of those which came to maturity contained discoloured cotton of weak and brittle fibre. The entire yield is not estimated, by the most sanguine, at more than 7,000 native bales of about 250 lbs. each, whilst several experienced and well informed agriculturists do not expect it will turn out more than 6,000 bales, if even so much. There is a growing favour for cotton produced from American instead of from native cotton seed, owing to the higher prices and readier sale which the former meets with in those markets to which it is exported ; but there is great need of a new and sufficient supply of fresh American seed to maintain all its best characteristics when grown in this island.”

From Consul Riddell's Report for 1873 —

“The result of the crop of 1873 turned out very deficient in quantity and inferior in quality. The influences which caused such an unfortunate result were alluded to in my Report of 1872; but the yield of the whole crop fell much below the lowest and worst estimates then formed. “The gathering of cotton in Cyprus rarely begins earlier than the month of October, and there is none ready for export before the month of November. Only a very insignificant ?". was exported to Great Britain in 1873, owing in part to the want of regular opportunities of shipment, referred to in my Report of 1872, and also that down to about the middle of the year, the prices obtained for raw cotton in the markets of Marseilles and Trieste were relatively much higher than those current at the same period in Liverpool; hence the bulk of the shipments in 1873 went to foreign ports. Of a total export amounting to 827,704 lbs., only 19,430 lbs. went direct to Great Britain. Prices here based upon quotations of value in the Mediterranean ports became greatly inflated, and there is too much reason to believe that very heavy losses have been sustained by exporters. The crop of 1874, owing to the larger area of cotton land which the torrents have permitted to be well watered, will it is expected be both large and good, unless subjected, as it was in 1873, to unusual an deleterious influences.”

From Consul Riddell's Report for 1874 –
“Contrary to the general expectation the cotton crop of 1874 has been a very

Madder roots.

indifferent one, the quantity small, and the quality inferior, except on some of the choicest watered and best cultivated lands. The reduced prices of raw cotton in the European markets, compared with what they were during the American Civil War, the difficulty of procuring sufficient “pickers” when the cotton grown from American seed arrives at maturity, and the deterioration in o ly from bad seed, and careless cultivation, sufficiently account for the declining state into which this valuable textile has fallen in Cyprus; nor does there appear any reasonable ground of hope for future improvement. Much land upon which cotton has been planted during past years is now being

sown with crops requiring less care and attention in the cultivation than cotton,

and it is said that a comparatively small breadth of land in 1875 will be devoted to cotton. The scarcity and high wages of labourers, coupled with the scarcity and dearness of all animals suited to agricultural labour, operates no doubt as a great barrier to maintaining and extending cotton culture in Cyprus.”

From Consul Riddell's Report for 1875:—

“Cotton.—Its culture has not undergone any change since my last report, and it appears to be stationary both in the extent of production and the quality of the fibre. Its cultivation in Cyprus is now mostly confined to such localities and soils as are best adapted to its growth. The Cyprus cotton is now chiefly sent to Marseilles, and also to Spanish markets through Smyrna, and a little to Trieste. Hardly any goes to Great Britain, where it does not command the same prices as it obtains in other foreign markets.”

From Consul Pierides' Report for 1876 –

“The largest portion of the whole o (which exceeded that of 1875) was shipped to Trieste and Marseilles, the average price being about 4d. per lb.”

From Consul Watkins' Report for 1877

“The cotton crop in 1877 was very fair as regards quantity and quality, and may be estimated at about 2,000 bales of 200 okes per bale, the average

price being about 4d. per lb.
Great care and attention are given to the cultivation of this plant, which

is chiefly of American seed.
Experiments have been made with the view of introducing the Bamia
cotton, but it is thought the dry nature of the soil is little adapted for its

growth.”

Madder roots, which produce a dye commonly known as Turkey red, were for a long time in great demand in England, to which country about two-thirds of the annual shipments of this article from Cyprus were consigned, and the trade was one of the most important and profitable possessed by the island. Of late years, however, as evidenced by the reports which follow, the demand has decreased owing to the substitution of alizarine dye. The Plain of Morpho, and the fields round Aghia Irene, and near Famagusta, are the localities where madders are produced in the largest quantities. The roots grown at Aghia Irene are the finest and have the richest colour, those of Morpho are next esteemed, and afterwards those of Famagusta. The culture of this plant requires very assiduous care and attention, but the profits are correspondingly large. Madders are planted in November, January, and February; at Morpho, and at Aghia Irene the roots are in their greatest perfection three years afterwards, and should not be gathered until then. At Famagusta, however, they are best fit for picking eighteen months after planting, but rarely are the roots allowed to remain so long in the ground, for in order to obtain

more rapid profits they are picked at Morpho and Aghia Irene two

years, and at Famagusta one year, after planting. From Consul Riddell's Report for 1872:—

“Prices in the island having been more favourable to the grower this than the previous year, a larger quantity was lifted, estimated at about 6,600 cwts., of which about 5,000 cwts, have been exported to Great Britain. Rumours of a successful substitute being largely produced n Germany are creating some apprehension amongst the growers of roots in this island, and as a conse: quence the prices offering being now lower, a smaller quantity has been lifted this spring than usual. Madder-root lands bear a hi o value in Cyprus, and anything arising to permanently lower the value of the roots in the European markets would prove very injurious to the owners of such high priced lands.”

From Consul Riddell's Report for 1873:—

“The quantity of madder roots produced in 1875 has been scarcely inferior to that of previous years, notwithstanding the great depreciation in the value of this dye in the markets of Europe. The falling off, however, in the uantity sent to Great Britain is remarkable, being only 230 cwts, against ,930 cwts. in 1872. Of the entire quantity exported in 1873 (about 4,700 cwts.) 4,250 cwts. went to France; it would therefore appear that prices have been more remunerative in France than in England. Growers in Cyprus are turning their madder-root land to other purposes, as they affirm that present prices are nuch less remunerative than will be other products which they can obtain from the same lands. The crop of 1874 will be probably much below that of previous years.”

From Consul Riddell's Report for 1874:—

“The cultivation of madder roots in this island is being gradually abandoned, and this branch of commerce, formerly large and valuable, will soon become extinct. This arises from the difficulty of sale, and the greatly reduced value of the root in the markets cf Europe, where the new mineral alizarine is now used almost exclusively by all Turkey red dyers. The madder lands of Cyprus are being turned to other purposes, as the prices obtainable for roots, either here or abroad, no longer remunerate the grower.”

From Consul Riddell's Report for 1875 —

“Having been almost superseded in the European markets by the mineral alizarine dye there cannot be said to be any demand for them, even at the very low prices which planters would accept in order to enable them to lift their roots ...]" clear the lands for other crops. This trade, formerly a large and valuable one in Cyprus, may now be said to be practically extinguished.

From Consul Pierides' Report for 1876:—

“During the summer of 1876 there was a slight demand for the French market, but it only lasted a short time. The cultivation is being abandoned in many districts, and madder roots are superseded by the cultivation of more advantageous produce.”

From Consul Watkins' Report for 1877:

“The produce in 1877 amounted only to about 250 tons.

“It is probable that the root will not be cultivated any longer, seeing that the expense of growing it exceeds the actual selling price. The cause of this is the late substitution of alizarine for madder roots. Prices averaged £12 per ton free on board.”

The silk trade, though less flourishing than in former times is silk.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »