On Monday 20 February 2017, at 17:00, an informative workshop was held on the sustainable management of olive groves in the Multi-Purpose Hall (former K.E.G.E. Hall) in Argalasti Municipality of Southern Pelion, Magnesia. This is an effort to inform olive growers and environmentally sensitive citizens in the framework of the project “Introduction of new oLIVE crop management practices focused on CLIMAte change mitigation and adaptation” (oLIVE-CLIMA), in collaboration with University of Thessaly and the Agricultural Cooperative of Pelion and Northern Sporades.
The event was organized by the Institute for Olive Tree, Subtropical Crops and Viticulture (IOSV) of the Hellenic Agricultural Organization – DEMETER, Directorate General of Agricultural Research with great success and response.
oLIVE CLIMA is funded by 50% by the financial instrument Life + of the European Union and has a total budget of 3.649.373 € (EU contribution 1.822.436 €). It was launched in October 2012 and will be completed in September 2017. The partners participating in the project implementation are the following: Development Agency of Eastern Thessaloniki’s Local Authorities “ANATOLIKI S.A.”, Institute for Olive Tree, Subtropical Crops and Viticulture “IOSV”, Department of Soil Science of Athens “DSSA”, Soil and Water Resources Institute – Former Land Reclamation Institute (LRI), University of Basilicata, Italy – Department of European and Mediterranean Culture (DICEM), Rodax Agro E.P.E. (RODAX), AGROTYPOS S.A., A.S. NILAEUS – Agricultural Olive oil Cooperative, Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Peza of Iraklion Pref. Crete S.A., Agricultural Cooperative Partnership Mirabello Union S.A..
The main aim of the project is to introduce new cultivation practices for tree crops in order to find cost-effective means for mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The project will focus specifically on olive-producing areas in Greece, investigating the potential of these areas to increase carbon sequestration by soil, as well as to reduce greenhouse gases emissions. In other words, in this project, a mitigation approach (enhanced CO2 uptake and reduced CO2 emissions) and an adaptation measure (increased soil quality) are tackled at the same time.
The workshop began with the visit to the olive groves in order to present the innovative cultivation practices proposed by the project. In addition, farmers were informed of the three areas of implementation of the actions. In addition, there has been a discussion with farmers about the practices they are currently implementing, the results and the problems they face. The visit was completed with an analysis of the benefits for the environment and for the farmer from the implementation of project practices.
After the study visit to the olive grove, the workshop continued in the hall, as a seminar. The Professor Dr. Nanos George of the University of Thessaly launched the event. Following were the presentations of expert scientistists invited guest speakers. Finally, the conference was concluded with a discussion between the speakers and the participants.
The first presentation was by Dr. Georgios Koumpouris, Researcher, Agronomist from the Institute for Olive Tree, Subtropical Crops and Viticulture, partner of the Olive-Clima project. After briefly presenting project scope and objectives, highlighted the implications of existing soil management practices and the benefits of implementing the new farming practices applied to the Olive Clima project. It also referred to the possibilities for financial support of producers, which may result from the application of the Olive Clima farming practices, through the Rural Development Program. Finally, he informed the participants of the Educational Videos available on the project’s website, aiming at their comprehensive information and the possible adoption of practices in their crops.
The next presentation was by Dr. Kavroulakis Nektarios, regarding the utilization of organic materials for soil improvement in olive groves.
Dr. Kalaitzaki Argyro, presented ways of managing the entomological insects of the olive groves.
Mr. George Michalopoulos, representative of Rodax Agro Company and project’s partner, talked about a more specific issue on the environmental certification of olive oil (PEFCR) based on Olive-clima farming practices and their advantages.
With the coordination of Professor Dr. Nanos Georgios followed a discussion among the attendees on how to apply the practices in the region given the soil morphology (big slope and rocky terrain). Some of the attendees asked this workshop to be held also in Anchialos, where the farmers there also cultivate olive groves. All participants were satisfied with the content of the meeting.
The presentations of the conference (available only in greek):
Educational Videos are available here