Deputy Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Konstantinos Skrekas referred to potential challenges that might be faced by Greek farmers in the near future, while speaking at the AgriBusiness Forum 2019, held in the city of Serres in northern Greece, November 1-2, while he also revealed that some 1.5 billion euros will be soon channeled into the upgrading and modernization of Greek farming.
The topic of the AgriBusiness Forum 2019 is 'The future of agriculture in the digital era', dedicated to advancing knowledge for the digitization and digital transformation of the agrifood value chain from seed to fork, as per the official description.
The deputy minister noted that climate change in the near future will impact farming negatively in terms of both quality and quantity, and will also contribute to drought and the reduction of water reservoirs.
On Greece's agricultural sector growth, Skrekas said that at least 11 pct of the county's workforce total is involved in agriculture. If one adds the food processing industry's contribution to the agri sector's share into the GDP aggregate, this goes up to at least seven pct, Skrekas elaborated.
Making the best use of renewable energy resources is another major priority, said Skrekas, bearing in mind the ministry's target for reducing the use of both electricity and petroleum products in farming.
The minister also said that a good way to promote Greek products to bigger markets abroad is via farming cooperatives.
Finally, on the issue of water management in farming, Skrekas said that 65 pct of the water Greece puts into farming comes from underground reservoirs, whereas other countries rely mostly on ground-level reservoirs.
AgriBusiness Forum 2019 agenda features eight content driven sessions, 50 distinguished speakers from Europe, Greece and the US and is attended by 250 high-level delegates of farms, leading businesses, financial services, innovative scaleups, research, academia and the public sector.