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PRESENTATION: PILOT AREA KOLYMVARI-CHANIA-CRETE. INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR ADVANCED MEDITERRANEAN AGRONOMIC STUDIES MEDITERRANEAN AGRONOMIC INSTITUTE OF CHANIA-GREECE. Characteristics of the local farming sector. Exceptional agricultural products are produced in the area. The majority

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Presentation pilot area kolymvari chania crete l.jpg

PRESENTATION: PILOT AREA KOLYMVARI-CHANIA-CRETE

INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR ADVANCED MEDITERRANEAN AGRONOMIC STUDIES

MEDITERRANEAN AGRONOMIC INSTITUTE OF CHANIA-GREECE

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Characteristics of the local farming sector l.jpg
Characteristics of the local farming sector

Exceptional agricultural products are produced in the area. The majority

of the farmland (80.14%) is occupied by perennial cultivations like olive

trees while the rest is cultivated by vegetables (2.40%) and vineyards

(3.80%), while the rest is arable (8.75%) and set-aside (5.08%) land. In

order for farmers to ensure a proper income they have to make their

cropping and cultivating choices very carefully and cannot easily

diversify their activities.

Most of the households in the area are self-sufficient meaning that they

“have everything”: vineyards, olive trees, a garden and a livestock of

several kinds (sheep, goats, chickens, etc).

Diversifying income sources or pluriactivity is definitely an important

phenomenon given that a lot of inhabitants are either private or civil

servants or are involved in activities such as provision of services,

tourism, fishing.

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Characteristics of the local farming sector

Three main zones can be defined in the area of

Kolymvari:

i) the coastal area where most of the households deal with

activities such as fishing,tourism, commercial activities etc.

ii) the “middle zone” that is dominated by olive groves and

vineyards and

iii) the northern and most hilly part where animal breeding

is one of the main sources of income.

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Characteristics of the local farming sector

Different types of farming methods could be found

in the Municipality of Kolymvari. The majority or

even all farmers in the area are owners of olive

groves but not all of them consider oliveculture as

their main source of income. Thus, a distinction

could be made between the big intensive olive

growers who are part-time farmers and who

mainly use olive oil for personal family use and

the ones that produce olive oil but are also

engaged in complementary farming activities.

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Characteristics of the local farming sector

It is important to note that according to the Council Regulation

EEC No 2081/92 the olive oil that is produced exclusively from

olives of the delimited geographical zone of the administrative

district of Kolymvari, in which olives have been produced since

1204, is recognized as PDO under the name: Eleolado POP

“Kolimvari Chanion Kritis”.

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Characteristics of the local farming sector

According to the Council Regulation (EEC) No 2081/92 of 14

July 1992 on the protection of geographical indications and

designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs:

an agricultural product or foodstuff bearing such an indication

must meet certain conditions set out in a specification. Only a

group (meaning any association, irrespective of its legal form or

composition, of producers and/or processors working with the

same agricultural product or foodstuff) or a natural or legal

person (subject to certain conditions) shall be entitled to

apply for registration.

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Characteristics of the local farming sector

Up to day the Greek authority responsible for the control and

inspection of the production process and the processing of the

PDO product was given by the Hellenic Ministry of Agriculture to

the Local Directorate of Agriculture. This responsibility, however,

is now undertaken by a newly established organisation, the so-

called “Agriculture product inspection & certification scheme”

(AGROCERT).

However, despite the favorable climatic conditions prevailing in

the area, agriculture presents a slow development and

modernization rate mainly due to certain peculiarities which

determine its progress. The small size of farming land, decreasing

employment opportunities, unstable incomes, reduced subsidies,

lack of alternative cropping solutions and a constantly changing,

complex policy situation are the main drawbacks for the

development of organic and multifunctional agriculture.

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The organic and/or multifunctional farming development in the territory

Organic farming in the area under examination is still in its early

stage. Nowadays there are thirteen organic producers in the

area, cultivating an area of about 80.6 hectares. Most of them are

involved in the olive oil industry (79.75% ha are occupied by olive

trees, while the rest is cultivated by vegetables, citrus fruits and

vineyards). Two of the organic farmers are definitely pioneers

given that they converted to organic right after the enforcement of

the EC Reg 2092/91.

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The organic and/or multifunctional farming development in the territory

Moreover they package and export most of the quantity

produced abroad and mainly in USA, Canada and Japan. The

limitation of organic production to a small number of perennial

cultivations can be explained by the national institutional and

economic framework of organic agriculture as well as by the

existing know-how for the practical applications of organic

cultivation techniques. Thus, the promotion of olive cultivation

as a basic organic cultivation in the area is directly related to:

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The organic and/or multifunctional farming development in the territory

  • The agricultural “geography” and the national soil and

    climate conditions. Olive cultivation has a long-standing

    tradition in the semi-mountainous regions of the Kolymvari

    area. This area has optimal local varieties and in many parts

    of the area, the traditional extensive way of olive cultivation is

    still surviving. On the other hand, organic olive cultivation

    does not differ in many aspects from traditional cultivation; it

    does not require complex intervention whereas the European

    subsidy per hectare based on Regulation E.E. 2078/92 offers

    a motivation for the exploitation of small, abandoned olive

    groves in mountainous areas.

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The organic and/or multifunctional farming development in the territory

  • The important know-how which has been

    developed regarding organic fertilizing and pest

    control in olive cultivation. The confrontation of

    these problems in olive cultivation is a research

    objective in many national research teams,

    whereas organic cultivation techniques have been

    applied for nearly twenty years, which means that

    organic farmers have precious experience.

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The organic and/or multifunctional farming development in the territory

  • The increased international demand for high-

    quality olive oil in combination with the existence

    of some trading institutions for organic olive oil

    (private or unions). Due to this background, a high

    percentage or organic olive oil goes to the export

    market, and in most cases the prices paid to the

    producer are substantially higher than the prices

    for conventional olive oil.

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The organic and/or multifunctional farming development in the territory

Undoubtedly the optimal soil and climatic conditions

prevailing in the region, the knowledge concerning olive

cultivation, the assistance provided by the agronomist

favored the attempt of those organic farmers that set the

example for the promotion of organic agriculture in the area.

Obviously, the organic farmers to be found in the area are

big olive –growers that share characteristics such as

knowledge, experience and willingness to change.

Moreover, they take risks and learn; they enforce

professionalism and foster feelings of sensitization to

environmental issues

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The role of the farms in the production accumulating and innovating activities l.jpg
The role of the farms in the production, accumulating and innovating activities

According to what a stakeholder interviewed said: “farmers

of the Municipality of Kolymvari can act very well as such,

but they are very bad entrepreneurs mainly due to their

low educational level and their inability to understand the

entrepreneurial and market environment”. Moreover, most

of the stakeholders that were interviewed emphasised that

the small size of the farms, the lack of infrastructure

(limited irrigation and road networks, lack of an

Organisation / Advisory body) are the main difficulties to

be encountered.

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The role of the farms in the production, accumulating and innovating activities

The contribution of education and training to farming

practices is becoming more important in cases where

environmental issues are considered. The education level

is a critical indicator of the quality of human capital and

affects the farmers’ ability to co-ordinate the operation of

various enterprises in order to search for alternatives and

avoid excessive losses. The age of the farmer composes

an important indicator in explaining the adoption of new

practices and technologies at the farm level. Younger

farmers have been found to be more knowledgeable about

new practices and may be more willing to bear risk.

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The role of the farms in the production, accumulating and innovating activities

The majority of the plantations that are found in

the area of Kolymvari can be characterised as

“Intensified traditional plantations”. They follow

traditional patterns but are under intensive

management making systematic use of fertilisers.

There is a tendency to intensify further by means

of irrigation, increased tree density, use of

chemicals and mechanical harvesting.

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The role of the farms in the production, accumulating and innovating activities

Most of the farmers are “kept in captivity” by the

production process, given that they are “obliged”

to sell their product under certain conditions. They

sell their product in bulk quantities and they don’t

act as entrepreneurs. Only a small quantity of the

olive oil produced is packaged, while the rest is

exported in bulk quantities to Italy or to some

multinationals in Greece. Moreover, very few of

them are involved in the whole distribution chain.

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The role of the farms in the production, accumulating and innovating activities

However, some efforts have been made to

encourage producers to collaborate in order to

allow them to promote their product together,

thereby imposing better prices. Undoubtedly there

is a need to replace private actions with more

organized ones. In this region, there are neither

auction centres, like the ones existing in Kountoura

and Ierapetra (Eastern Crete), that could help

farmers enhance their entrepreneurial skills, nor a

Consultant organization to support the farmers.

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Agronomic and environmental aspects of the production activities l.jpg
Agronomic and environmental aspects of the production activities

Oliveculture has both positive and negative environmental

effects. These effects depend on several factors including

prevailing environmental conditions in and around the

plantation (soil type, slope, rainfall, presence of water

supply bodies and farm management practices). The main

categories of actual and potential environmental effects are

associated with the management of the olive plantations

such as soil, water, air, landscape, biodiversity.

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Agronomic and environmental aspects of the production activities

Soil erosion is one of the principal environmental

problems associated with olive farming. Traditionally,

terraces were created with supporting stonewalls to

allow the cultivation of the hillsides. Their maintenance

however, is labour intensive and abandonment is quite

common. The over-exploitation of the water resources

for irrigation is an enormous environmental problem in

the area. Irrigation is expanding rapidly although ground

water resources are already severely depleted.

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Agronomic and environmental aspects of the production activities

From an agronomic point of view the main issues related

to the oliveculture are the maintenance of soil fertility and

pest control. The existence of the Dacus Olea in large

population in the area consists one of the main problems

of the oliveculture.

Moreover, the organic alternative proposes the application

of animal manure and green manure rather than the use

of chemical fertilisers and the use of biological methods

(e.g traps) instead of the conventional treatment of Dacus

Olea, are used.

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The correlation between agricultural produce and territory suitability l.jpg
The correlation between agricultural produce and territory suitability

Olive farming provides an important source of employment

in many areas of the Municipality of Kolymvari where it is

either a principal employer or an important part-time

employer combined with other activities such as tourism.

Moreover, the morphology of the land creates difficulties in

the application of cultivation techniques which doesn’t

facilitate the production of other products.

The favourable climatic conditions allow the production of

high quality products. The production process from

harvesting to processing and marketing faces economic

problems. In the cultivation phase, the means for the

fighting of insects and the fertilisers are very expensive.

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The correlation between agricultural produce and territory suitability

The favourable climatic conditions allow the production of

high quality products but the integration is very limited. This

is so mainly due to the fact that the processing sector does

not help create contacts with private enterprises in order to

try to sell the product directly to the market without the

middleman. In the last decade, the downgraded action of

cooperatives and Unions halted standardization. So now,

they do not have proper exports and trade. Producers

comply with the suggested level of integration by supplying

goods and services enterprises that, in most of cases,

facilitate them by undertaking the delivery of the inputs.

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The correlation between agricultural produce and territory suitability

As far as the marketing sector is concerned, farmers are

content with selling the product. An attempt is made by

some people to motivate farmers to concentrate on the

brand named olive oil, quality assurance, and protected

denomination of origin/ geographical indication approval

But the oil industry does not certify the product with a label

such as “product of origin” and “geographical indication

product”, even if it is of high quality, because it is not

written in the label therefore it does not differ from the

conventional product.

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Intersectoral and intra sectoral integration processes l.jpg
Intersectoral and intra-sectoral integration processes suitability

According to official data 54.2% of the population is

employed in the Agricultural sector while 11.9% and 28.0%

is employed in the secondary and tertiary economic sector,

respectively. The secondary sector is rudimentary in its

development. Only small individual businesses are mainly

involved in handicraft or engaged in the processing of the

products of the primary sector. The tertiary sector is the

second most important in the area and it enjoys continuous

growth because of tourism and its alternative forms.

However most people employed in tourism do not rely on

this exclusively, but are also involved in other activities to

supplement their income.

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Intersectoral and intra-sectoral integration processes suitability

In fact, there aren’t any organised intersectoral network

linkages besides the direct ones existing among the

primary (farming and animal breeding), secondary

(industry) and tertiary (tourism and other services) sectors.

Relations are mainly developed at a personal level rather

than through well structured channels. More specifically,

agriculture provides products and supports the

development of tourism and agritourism, while the shops

provide inputs to the agricultural sector.

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Intersectoral and intra-sectoral integration processes suitability

Coherence between emerging sectors (tourism) and the

existing ones (agriculture) is of crucial importance. When

referring to the Municipality of Kolymvari, it is obvious that

there is a continuous interrelation / interdependence

between those two sectors. Farming supports tourism that

seems to add value to local products and provides an

alternative /additional source of income. Furthermore, the

development of tourism as well as agro-tourism is based on

the existence and the exploitation of the local resources.

However, there is an increasing competition among the

agricultural and tourism sector with regard to the use of the

available natural, capital, human resources.

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Intersectoral and intra-sectoral integration processes suitability

Unfortunately there is very limited cooperation

among the farmers. Moreover, the marketing /

processing organisations are comprised of a close

relation among the enterprises of the primary

sector, the agricultural enterprises and the Unions

of Agricultural Coops. There is direct dependence

among them only as far as the production and

distribution needs are concerned.

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Intersectoral and intra-sectoral integration processes suitability

There are also special programmes referring to

Organic Farming but farmers don’t benefit from

the “Improvement Plans” that are financed by the

Directorate of Agriculture of the Prefecture of

Chania. Also, someone must have land and some

speciality, like mountainous land, to have a form

of enterprise, age limits, to PDO and PGI products

in order to be subsidized.

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Intersectoral and intra-sectoral integration processes suitability

There is an inter-Municipalities Developmental enterprise

but it doesn’t help a lot. It is not very efficient. Moreover, all

departments of the Prefecture and the Municipality related to

the environment, training and culture should be motivated

and involved. Some efforts were made to set up a group of

producers. However, as there is neither the infrastructure

nor the motivation to undertake this project, no suitable

distribution was found by the producers. However, without

infrastructure (Olive Oil Mills) this can not work.

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Intersectoral and intra-sectoral integration processes suitability

Finally there was a proposal initiated by an

Organic Consumers’ and Producers’ Cooperation

called GAIA, that could promote their production

under a common name. This initiative was

promoted by exhibitions, internet, and an organic

certification sign. In general the key objective is

the vertical integration of the production process.

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Interpersonal relationships and institutional aspects l.jpg
Interpersonal relationships and institutional aspects suitability

Institutional development is an aid through which local

community members can empower themselves and

generate the knowledge base and enthusiasm necessary for

conservation and for involvement in community

development. Such institutional forms in the area of

Kolymvari are: Agricultural Coops, women’s organisations

and youth organisations. The Union of the Agricultural

Coops and the Agricultural Coops play an important role,

provided that they assist the agricultural activity and

undertake the processing, marketing and promotion of

agricultural products.

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Interpersonal relationships and institutional aspects suitability

To a wider extent, the relationships of:

  • Farmer-Cultural associations are not so close. Those associations organize some events that promote agricultural products

  • Farmers – schools are only information related

  • Farmers – Agricultural Coops have close relations since all farmers are members of the Agricultural Coop.

  • Farmers- Other entrepreneurs have a very strict and professional relationship.

    All the Communities are mountainous so they can be

    incorporated into many Developmental Programs, the

    “Mountain communities” programs, is a Community program

    for the exploitation of mountainous areas.

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Strengths and weaknesses of organic and or multifunctional farming in the territory l.jpg
Strengths and weaknesses of organic and/or multifunctional farming in the territory

The agroenvironmental conditions of the area under

investigation are in favour of the production of high quality

and organic agricultural products. The most crucial point

however, is that there is no infrastructure. For example: for

oil factories of organic olive oil, there is no legislation that

would ensure proper production. Somebody can be

certified in Greece, in every stage, but there is a gap as far

as the extraction of olive oil is concerned.

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Strengths and weaknesses of organic and/or multifunctional farming in the territory

There is no olive oil Mill that can provide the right conditions

to ensure the producer about the production of organic olive

oil. The product may come out with residues and thus will

not be certified. The certification comes from the ‘DIO’, the

‘Biohellas’ (Soya). Finally, no olive oil Mill exists that would

produce only organic olive oil.

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Strengths and weaknesses of organic and/or multifunctional farming in the territory

During the last 10 years Organic Agriculture had an

increase of 6%. There are 50 organic farmers in the

prefecture of Chania. Big quantities are produced and sold

in shops specializing in organic products as well as in

super-market.

The main factors to foster the development of Organic

Agriculture in the area are:

  • There is a cell of farmers that submitted a project in the framework of Leader plus to establish an olive oil Mill specializing in the production of organic olive oil.

  • Organic farming was introduced through a Horizontal Policy Program of the Agricultural Department for standardisation

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Strengths and weaknesses of organic and/or multifunctional farming in the territory

  • The “Biologiki Georgia” (Organic Agriculture) programme is financed by the Department of Agriculture and subsidizes farmers of the region. However, the competition between small and big farmers is very high (some farmers have a lot of labour and stremmas (1/10 Ha) compared to others). Thus, small farmers can not enter the program.

  • Integrated Programmes related to the conditions of the area are more abundant and isolated (mountainous areas).

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Strengths and weaknesses of organic and/or multifunctional farming in the territory

Community support to the organic producers is very

limited. They receive 37 € per stremma for the first 5 years

(1 stremma is 1000m2 or 1 stremma = 1/10 hectare).

There are some pioneers in the area such as "Biolea",

who organised vertical integration. But provided that

technical-agronomic infrastructure does not exist, small

farmers can not undertake the entire process. There is no

olive oil Mill that can provide the right conditions to ensure

the producer about the production of organic olive oil. The

product may come out with residues and thus will not be

certified. The certification comes from the ‘DIO’, the

‘Biohellas’ (Soya). Finally, no olive oil Mill exists that would

produce only organic olive oil.

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Strengths and weaknesses of organic and/or multifunctional farming in the territory

Most farming establishments are family owned.

Therefore, to make a profit they have to reduce

inputs. Most of them don’t actually believe that

organic agriculture could be a source of additional

income for them. There isn’t any Certification and

Control Body to continuously secure organic

production as far credibility/reliability is

concerned.

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Strengths and weaknesses of organic and/or multifunctional farming in the territory

Moreover most of the factors discourage the farmers to

convert to organic:

  • Two problems are usually faced by farmers : the problem of nitrogen and the problem of limiting the production outputs because of the cultivation techniques.

  • There is neither information regarding the spread of organic agriculture, nor leadership.

  • There is a distribution problem in the market. Everybody is trying to find individual markets to be the sole sellers of their products. But as long as organic farming remains exclusively among 2-3 persons, the distribution channels will remain limited.

  • The production of organic products requires very expensive inputs and needs as well as intense labor. Concerning the certification, there are only some Institutes but they are very expensive too.

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Strengths and weaknesses of organic and/or multifunctional farming in the territory

Last but not least, organic and multifunctional

agriculture can only be developed if the vertical

production mode is followed and many different

products are produced to secure the viability of

agriculture and local areas as well.

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