Crazy weather hits crop farm­ers

Grow­ers say author­ity drag­ging heels over dam­ages though fluc­tu­a­tions to blame

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

A con­sor­tium of agri­cul­tural co­op­er­a­tives in Imathia, north­ern Greece, is threat­en­ing to sue the author­ity re­spon­si­ble for de­ter­min­ing com­pen­sa­tion pay­ments to farm­ers who have suf­fered crop dam­age be­cause of ad­verse weather.

The head of the Imathia con­sor­tium, Chris­tos Gian­nakis, told Kathimerini that big fluc­tu­a­tions in tem­per­a­ture and bursts of heavy rain­fall over the past few months have caused sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to crops, par­tic­u­larly peaches and cher­ries, which are widely cul­ti­vated in the re­gion.

How­ever, he said, de­spite the fact that vari­able weather is clearly to blame for farm­ers’ losses, the Greek Agri­cul­tural In­sur­ance Or­ga­ni­za­tion (ELGA) ap­pears re­luc- tant to set com­pen­sa­tion. “The or­ga­ni­za­tion is try­ing to dodge the is­sue by in­ter­pret­ing cer­tain di­rec­tives in a dif­fer­ent way,” he said, adding that the con­sor­tium is pre­pared to take le­gal ac­tion against ELGA.

The news is also bad for the wine in­dus­try, as At­tica grow­ers of the na­tive Sa­va­tiano grape used in many Greek whites say that be­tween 40 and 50 per­cent of their crop was de­stroyed by the heat wave in late June that saw tem­per­a­tures ris­ing to the 45-Cel­sius mark. “The dam­age is wide­spread and we don’t know if there’s any point in har­vest­ing in Septem­ber, when we usu­ally col­lect the grapes,” said the head of the Koropi Vine Grow­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion, Stama­tis Ge­or­gakis.

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