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torsdag, november 2, 2023

Local weather disasters depart Greece threatened by meals shortages

Two billion euros! This can be the price of the collection of climatic disasters that hit the nation between mid-July and mid-September, as estimated by Moschos Korasidis, managing director of the Nationwide Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Greece. Giorgos Stratakos, secretary common of the Greek ministry of agriculture, agrees: ”It is a international downside”.

The fires first ravaged the world round Alexandroupoli, the primary city within the agricultural area of Evros within the northeast of the nation. In addition they swept by the islands of Rhodes and Corfu, and the world round Mount Parnes, the inexperienced lung close to the capital Athens. Then the cyclones Daniel and Elias swept throughout the plain of Thessaly, the nation’s meals basket. After such devastation, what’s going to restoration take?

That is the query on the thoughts of Kiriaki Chatzisavvas, 37. A biologist by coaching, she left the pharmaceutical business to plant vines in Evros. ”It was a bit of paradise right here,” she explains, pointing to the hillsides. “Now it is a catastrophe.” The vines are charred, the bunches of grapes withered, the bottom strewn with ashes. The 7-hectare property smells acrid. It’s going to take her 5 to 10 years to get again to the identical stage of manufacturing.

map of greece

This winegrower wonders whether or not she’s going to be capable of proceed her observe primarily based on ”biodiversity”. She explains: ”My method was holistic, with little human intervention. I had even performed an experiment with a beekeeper who had positioned hives across the vines. Nature regained its stability.” The fires that people failed to manage worn out biodiversity, devastating vineyards, forests, farmland and olive groves.

Beekeepers are fearful. Michalis, 31, had round 200 hives that he managed to save lots of. ”Honey manufacturing is my solely supply of revenue. The place are my bees going to feed when the hearth has burnt every part?” This can be a main concern for Pavlos Georgiadis, an ethnobotanist from Evros who teaches at Hohenheim College in Germany: ”The bees, that are important for pollination, now not have something to eat even when the hives have been saved.

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On this scenario, there’s a threat of desertification. Fires have a huge effect on biodiversity! Hundreds of olive bushes have burnt down, arable land has been destroyed and animals have died within the flames.” The researcher goes on: ”Soil, air, water, biodiversity: every part is affected by these fires.”

Région de l'Evros, septembre 2023. Les vignes de Kiriaki Chatzisavvas dévastées par les incendies de l'été. | Photo: F. Perrier
Evros area, September 2023 | Picture: F. Perrier

In brief, your complete ecosystem is in danger. ”The organic well being of the soil will probably be affected by floods and fires. It is going to be troublesome to plant crops which are inclined to soil-borne ailments due to the extreme moisture, in addition to ’root asphyxia’ as a consequence of extended flooding of the soil”, explains Moschos Korasidis. In his view, ”this degradation of huge tracts of farmland poses a critical risk to native and nationwide meals safety. Shortages of important crops could result in elevated dependence on imports, with destructive repercussions for the nation’s stability of commerce.”

That warning could seem exaggerated, however the figures give an thought of the shortages and value rises that now hang-out Greece. In Evros, fires burnt 94,000 hectares, nearly half of them forests. 8,114 hectares of farmland have been ravaged, 55.6% of the area’s whole. Even centuries-old olive bushes are in peril. Thessaly, which accounts for nearly 15% of the nation’s agricultural land (over 400,000 hectares), is a veritable agricultural reservoir and a wheat bread basket. Thessaly additionally produces 7% of the nation’s sugar beet, 50% of its processed tomatoes and peas, 30% of its cotton and barley, 20% of the hay utilized in livestock farming, and a big proportion of its fruit and greens.

It’s a mainstay of meat, milk and cheese manufacturing. Moschos Korasidis warns: ”We even have disasters in saved merchandise, similar to cereals”. In his view, ”between a significantly lowered provide of foodstuffs in the marketplace and critical issues as a consequence of hypothesis, the situations are ripe for value rises”. After ten years of financial and monetary disaster, one other crunch is looming, this time over meals manufacturing.

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