Farmers hit by abnormal weather pattern

Farmers hit by abnormal weather pattern

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 reluctant 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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