Seven Augenaki interventions for cotton

The belief that Greek cotton farming can stand out with its superior quality and extroversion, that it can conquer international markets, was expressed by the Minister for Rural Development and Food, at the Conference of Interprofessionals held in Thessaloniki. Lefteris Avgenakis pointed out that cotton will have a leading role in the next day of the agricultural sector in our country. In strengthening this objective, HPAT invests in the quality of Greek cotton, which, due to its potential, is called ‘white gold’ and takes specific decisions which the Minister announced: 1. Recognising the deficit in cotton seed, following the natural disaster Daniel, in Thessaly, he announced yesterday that he signed a decision on a special grant by way of derogation of a specific authorisation for a specific active preparation for the marketing period of cotton seed invested in the year 2023. As the HPAT said, “this decision is based on the need to protect the sustainability and functioning of the cotton seed production sector in our country. Otherwise it could not be used because of the coating they have. Greek varieties are overpriced, as they are adapted to the climate and conditions of our country and under no circumstances the use of foreign varieties can replace them. The Ministry of Rural Development and Food, with quick reflexes, does the best to support Greek cotton farming.” 2. The strategic plan of CFP 2023-27 includes the provision of specific linked aid for cotton with EUR 919 million. 3. Green schemes include actions on cotton. 4. Within the first half of the year an invitation is expected for alternative methods of plant protection in crops, including cotton, the so-called Komfuzio. 5. The amendments to the national plan already approved by the committee, as well as the structural changes we claim for its better application, are made solely in the light of the benefit of each farmer in the Greek countryside. One of these amendments is of particular value to cotton producers. We’ve managed to get a derogation. The difference in the quantity produced from 20% increased to 30% so that producers were entitled to receive the specific linked aid. 6. The Cotton Group is reopened at the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, as requested by the Interprofessional. 7 As the Minister announced, a new bill will soon come from our Ministry, in which inter-branch organisations and reforming their institutional framework will have a central role, further improving their operation and cooperation with the Ministry of Rural Development and Food. YPAT stressed that “Interprofessional cotton with its multifaceted action contributes to strengthening cultivation and to subsequent management and promotion and improvement of the product”. He noted that “Greece is by far the dominant cotton producer country in the European Union, as we have 80% of the cultivated areas of cotton farming, while we are the 6th country worldwide. The dynamics we have, taking into account the size of the country, are unique. He pointed out, however, that while – before the floods – we held meetings discussing the next day of the industry, we found ourselves from one moment to another to manage the damage, a sample of the new reality created by the climate crisis.” Finally, he pointed out that the important work of Interprofessional Cotton referred to the preparation of a strategic planning study with the help of the Agricultural University of Athens on the effects of climate change on cultivation. He added that “in parallel with ELGO-Dimitra, a multi-annual quality improvement programme and quantity of the product produced is being prepared, while reducing inputs using innovative methods of precision farming in real fields. Looking to the future, you face the challenges of tomorrow today,” he said. Thessaly: Organized reconstruction In his intervention, referring to Thessaly, he recalled that the entire leadership of the Hellenic Republic was from the first moment present and added that the project Thessaly is demanding, there is a long way to go even nothing is over. “That’s why yesterday I met with the Prime Minister, where the Dutch company HVA handed over the master plan for the reconstruction of Thessaly, which is why there will also be meetings on Monday in the presence of the Prime Minister and with institutional representatives of the primary sector to begin the debate as the Prime Minister had committed in time to the local bodies for the next steps for an organized reconstruction of Thessaly, so it is necessary to participate all.” ELGA: We want a model organisation in Europe referring to the ELGA Regulation called on Interprofessionals to participate in the consultation. To bring the new regulation together with you, not without you,” he said and added that “We want an Agency model in Europe that will operate with justice and speed and will provide security to producers. We go to compulsory insurance and optional risks so that the farmer, the farmer, the fisherman, the beekeeper feel he has the right to choose. We’ve worked for rural 112 to operate at the same time. It will be directed directly to farmers in a particular region, which comes with frost, flood, etc. These will become organized, we want this system to work alongside the new regulation of the ELGA. Prevention, proper functioning of the Agency and justice so that each insured person feels that this body is the protection net for him.” Allied configuration for CAP changes Speaking about the climate crisis he mentioned the initiatives our country has taken in time to form alliances in all European fora. He recalled that the meetings of the Southern group, namely EUMED-9, are the result of a Greek initiative. “From the first moment we told them that the issue of Thessaly is a European problem because another time can happen in another European country. That is why, with a joint statement from the nine countries, we said that the amount available to the EU Agricultural Reserve should be increased. EUR 450 million is given at this time for all of Europe. Only we as Greece claimed and received about 50 million for 2024. We insisted that a separate special mechanism be created to deal with such incidents, not convulsively and occasionally. It has already begun to be discussed, it is a time-consuming process yet the debate has also been opened.” He recalled that as a country we support the proposal that 2% of each country’s CAP could be allocated immediately to address the consequences of the climate crisis in the primary sector and added that Greece was the only country that had been prepared in time and submitted 19 proposals for technical improvements to the CFP, four of them being institutional.