Subsistence farming scheme sees high turnout

Some 4,000 people have applied for an initiative launched by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, which is renting out small parcels of farmland for a nominal fee to cash-strapped Greeks who want to grow their own fruit and vegetables, Skai reported on Wednesday.

The Thessaloniki university has ceded 100 square meters of land in Thermi, on the outskirts of the northern port city, that is organized into small parcels rented for a fee of 120 euros per year. Organized with the Agricultural School, experts will advise self-styled farmers on how to grow their own produce using organic methods.

According to the report, the majority of the 4,000-odd applicants so far are educators and people who have lost their jobs.

The proceeds from the scheme will be channeled into a fund set up for the so-called «Farm» and will be used for the upkeep of the Thermi agricultural expanse and for the future expansion of the program.

The deadline for applications to participate in the scheme is March 16.

Meanwhile, the municipalities of Thermi and Lagada, also in Thessaloniki, have launched similar schemes to rent out small plots of their agricultural holdings to citizens who want to develop their own subsistence farms.

The rent, they have said, will be lower than 120 euros a year, while the fee will be waived for the unemployed and other socially vulnerable groups.

Though the schemes have not been launched officially yet, 500 people have already expressed an interest in participating, according to municipal authorities.

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