Farming in Greece used to be more of an empirical job, with knowledge being passed down each generation. This tradition is slowly changing and everyday more and more young people turn to agriculture, which appears to be an industry full of prospect.
A survey from the American Farm School indicated that there is a new farmer “profile” emerging in Greece, and especially in the area of Thessaloniki. It appears that farmers in Greece are not just delivering crops anymore; they are gradually getting into the mindset of an entrepreneur.
The survey reveals that farmers are now young graduates who like to surf the web. However, this phenomenon is not common in all of the country’s regions.
“In a 2013 survey we found that the average age of a farmer in eastern Thessaloniki was 52-years-old, when in the rest of the country it was 68-years. Forty percent of farmers in this region are university graduates, while 87% of people working in agriculture are using the internet frequently and want to keep up with the developments and participate in training programs, under their own expenses” said Vangelis Vergos, agronomist at the American Farm School.
The economic crisis seems to play a catalytic role in the farmers need to change their ways.
The next stage is to adopt the new methods of precision agriculture that don’t require large investments and produce a large number of crops. However, such a change requires proper education, training and use of new technologies.
In the meantime, a new program for young farmers is set to cover 8,000 people who want to get involved in agriculture. The program’s aim is to revitalize rural population by installing young people in different rural areas.