Greece has made an official request to the Council of the European Union to receive financial aid for oil olive oil and table olive producers hit by the extreme weather conditions that prevailed in parts of the country during the last six months.
The request was based on the reduced fruition of the olive trees recorded in seven producing regions, which is expected to dramatically reduce the production of table olives and olive oil in these areas ahead of the 2021 harvest, the country asserted.
We are dealing with a dramatic reduction in the production of olives and olive oil, accounting for approximately 70 percent to 90 percent of the expected output.
“The exceptionally low temperatures of the spring frost events were followed by the heatwaves of May and June, with temperatures approaching 40 °C,” the Greek delegation to Brussels told the Council.See Also: New E.U. Ag Policy Could Benefit Greek Olive Growers If Requirements Are Met
“These weather conditions, combined with almost no rainfall, occurred during a very sensitive stage in the olive cultivation, the flowering and the fruiting,” the delegation further explained. “Under these circumstances, olive trees showed flower fall and fruit fall.”
“As a result, we are dealing with a dramatic reduction in the production of olives and olive oil, accounting for approximately 70 percent to 90 percent of the expected output,” the delegation added.
The territories included in the claim for financial aid are the islands of Crete, Lesvos and Euboea, several regions of the southern Peloponnese and Fokida, Fthiotida and Halkidiki on the country’s mainland.
The local authorities of some of the areas hit by the extreme weather had notified the Greek Ministry of Agriculture about the reduced fruition phenomenon in advance.
“The prevailing weather conditions have adversely affected the flowering and the fruition of the [trees of the] Kalamon variety,” Yiorgos Papanastasiou, the mayor of Agrinio, wrote in a letter to Minister of Agriculture Spilios Livanos.See Also: Researchers Seek Better Understanding of Olive Drupe Development
Papanastasiou also warned that “it will severely impact the income of local producers since [table olives] are one of the most profitable crops of the municipality.”
The mayor also asked Livanos to come and see the damage caused and provide backing to the producers affected by the phenomenon.
In Brussels, Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski grouped the Greek claim with the requests for compensation from the recently flood-hit countries of western Europe, including Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.
After torrential downpours late last month, several rivers in the region broke their banks causing many casualties and taking a heavy toll on the agricultural sector by flooding farms and crops.
Wojciechowski said that the commission is willing to activate the tools and instruments to provide support for the restoration of the damages.