Education and resourcefulness, ARTOLIO participates in the event "The Future of Olive farming in Chalkidiki: Opportunities and Benefits"
Kiki Zinoviadou, partner of ARTOLIO and Chair of the MSc program on New Food product and Business Development at Perrotis College, stressed the importance of the transformation of agriculture field through development and resilient programs, presenting the ARTOLIO project work as the best case for support and education. Her speech was held in the seminar “The Future of Olive farming in Chalkidiki: Opportunities and Βenefits'', in Tenedhos, Chalkidiki (Greece), on June the 2nd, 2022.
The seminar aimed to instruct on the difficulties of olive oil production in the area, and its possible solutions. The region of Chalkidiki is the biggest producer of green table olive in Greece but also produces high-quality olive oil as well. Unfortunately, in the last few years, the producers from the area are facing problems with drought and many drillings are going out of commission or have reduced water capacity throughout the years. The audience was formed by board members and members of different agricultural co-operatives that are in the formation process, as well as the head manager of the Chamber of Commerce of the Chalkidiki prefecture.
The first subject that was discussed was Agricultural co-operatives and the multiple benefits that producers can have if they create a strong-based co-operative. The creation of a group of farmers or co-operatives that can achieve higher contracts and lower the costs of production, especially in olive cultivation was thoroughly stressed out. Team effort is crucial to ARTOLIO, and the project promotes it because it is an essential asset to survive the harsh conditions and difficulties of the field. With a strong community and network, there is a highest chance of success, even against environmental conditions.
Another important topic discussed during the seminar was Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy and the sustainability of olive cultivation. The new technologies supporting the cultivation must be respectful to the environment, because the droughts are provoked by global warming in the first place. It is essential to pay attention to the resources and know how to take advantage of the means that the farmers already possess. It was suggested since the water reserves are being depleted year by year, that some of the orchards should turn towards the production of olive oil, since they require a lot less resources. Another of the topics that most of the producers seemed to struggle with, was “operation functionality and management in olive cultivation” conducted by Elefterios Papadopoulos. Essentially, management has to do with organization and how to be as efficient as possible without wasting money or resources. It is something that can be corrected with the right help and counseling.
Education should be a tool that instructs farmers on how to be resourceful as well, and this is the kind of education ARTOLIO supports.