The production of Greek agriculture has been disorganized according to statements of rural sector representatives to Agrotypos. The lack of liquidity and of basic raw materials threatens to blow up the agricultural programming for both this and next year’s growing season. In the meanwhile, given that foreign suppliers demand cash for supplies, and the most farmers are unable to prepay them, representatives of agri-supply sector require the immediate lifting of capital controls for agricultural inputs and the immediate funding from the relevant Ministries and the Bank of Greece.
Photo by United Soybean Board / CC BY 4.0
Business executives of plant protection products refer to AgroTypos for cotton cultivation “Right now the cotton must be protected from the second generation of the cotton green worm, which is the most dangerous, but we are completely unprepared. Its control is entirely based on sprays conducted between late July and mid-August. However, due to import problems, companies do not currently have the necessary stock.
The situation in vegetables is quite similar, with the difference that the deficiencies in formulations (e.g. for Tuta absoluta or tomato green worm) are already obvious with serious production losses. In Greek olive oil producing areas the lack of credit and liquidity complicates efforts of olive fruit fly managing.
In wheat, beyond the delays to wheat threshing, the new season sowing is also at risk. The sowing, under normal circumstances, should begin in early autumn, but the seeds are not enough. Mr. John Diokarantou, the President of the Hellenic Crop Protection Association (HCPA), estimates that the total stock of propagating and plant protection products is sufficient to cover only the 20% of the growing needs for the next few months.
“Black market in grains”
Along with the raw material shortages, the first serious market distortions also appeared. For “orgy illegal trade, without invoices, but paper bags with money” talked to Agrotypos the President of New Farmers Union in Larissa, Mr. Christos Sidiropoulos. According to him traders who have liquidity, go to the villages to buy grain and pay in cash at a price between 28-32 cents per kilo, without invoices, which demand bank check payment. Farmers on their part want liquidity in order to cover their expenses for sprays etc. so the deal is closed.
The agri-supply sector requires lifting of capital controls
Finally it is noted that the immediate lifting of capital controls for agricultural inputs and the immediate funding are required from the relevant Ministries and the Bank of Greece by:
- The Greek Seed Trade Association (EEPES),
- The Hellenic Crop Protection Association (HCPA) and
- The Producers and Traders Association of Fertilizer (SPEL)
Given that in Greece the largest proportion of inputs (seeds, plant protection products, fertilizers) is introduced, it is obvious that the problems in agri-supply market due to capital control will deprive producers of the production capacity and consumers of the consume ability. According to latest data in Greece the value input of agri-supply sector is estimated about 660 million Euro, of which 160 million for seeds, 180 million for plant protection products and 320 million for fertilizers.