OPINION

Agriculture a drain on resources

One of the many issues that are pending in this country and should be dealt with as soon as possible is whether work to divert the Acheloos River should continue. Related to this and equally pressing is the need to reform agricultural production. The diversion of the Acheloos will not justify the continued production of cotton crops that cannot be sold and which has turned many farmers into little more than public servants who just sit around waiting for the next round of subsidies to come in the mail. The long-term subsidization of cotton crops has destroyed agriculture on the Thessaly Plain and any motivation that farmers may have once had to produce competitive crops. Strict measures, meanwhile, also need to be imposed in order to stop the ecological destruction caused by constant drilling of wells for water. The next administration that comes to power needs to weigh all the data carefully and ignore the cost to its popularity so that it may take those bold decisions regarding the Acheloos and other policies of water management and agricultural production.