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Valley of Messara, Crete
Valley of Messara, Crete

Agriculture in Greece is based on small, family-owned dispersed units, while the extent of cooperative organization stays at low comparative levels, against all efforts that have been taken in the last 30 years, mainly under European Union supervision. Greek agriculture employs 528,000 farmers, 12% of the total labor force. It produces more than 14% of the national GDP

Greece produces a wide variety of crops and livestock products. Fisheries are also playing an important role while forestry plays a secondary role.

Current production

Currently, Greek agriculture is heavily subsidized by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), with controversial results. Certain deductions of subsidies are planned within the next decade.[1]

Greece produced in 2018:

In addition to smaller productions of other agricultural products.[2]

Modern history

See also: Agriculture in ancient Greece

19th century

Exportation of raisin; port of Patras, late 19th century
Exportation of raisin; port of Patras, late 19th century
Greek green olives
Greek green olives

In the 19th century, Greek agriculture was very basic. Implements found in western Europe had not yet appeared. The following description was reported by William Henry Moffett, American Consul in Athens and was published in the American periodical Garden and Forest (Volume 2, Issue 95, 18 December 1889, p. 612: published by Garden and Forest Publishing Co., Tribune Building, New York, N.Y.):

William H. Moffett, United States Consul at Athens, reports the impossibility of making any official statement as to the agriculture of Greece, because "agriculture is here in the most undeveloped condition. Even in the immediate neighborhood of Athens it is common to find the wooden plow and the rude mattock which were in use 2,000 years ago. Fields are plowed up or scratched over, and crops replanted season after season, until the exhausted soil will bear no more. Fertilizers are not used to any appreciable extent, and the farm implements are of the very rudest description. Irrigation is in use in some districts, and, as far as I can ascertain, the methods in use can be readily learned by a study of the practices of the ancient Egyptians. Greece has olives and grapes in abundance, and of quality not excelled; but Greek olive oil and Greek wine will not bear transportation."

20th century

Greek agricultural production was vastly expanded in the 20th century, as per the information given elsewhere on this page. In particular grain production (wheat, barley, etc.) has been significantly increased using more modern farming methods. Much of the research on soil classification, fertiliser use, and dissemination of improved agricultural practice was carried out starting from 1938 in the Kanellopoulos Institute of Chemistry and Agriculture.[3]

There were over 8,000 farms all over Greece in 1998, with 9,730 hectares of land used for the growing of organic farming.[4]

The main varieties of domestic wheat produced in Greece during 2002 were FLAVIO, VAVAROS and MEXA.[5]

Notable products

Traditional collecting of mastic (plant resin) in Chios
Traditional collecting of mastic (plant resin) in Chios

Notable products include:

Olive cultivars/varieties

Name Image Areas Description
Amfissas Alternate name is Amphissis
Athinolia Low viscosity
Lamiales - Olea europaea - 9.jpg
Chalkidiki Green olives. Also known as Chondrolia and called "donkey olives". They have PDO status.
Messinia in Southern Peloponnese. Usually a brown or black table olive. When picked early, known as "pink" olives (reddish color). They have PDO status for the Kalamata region. Known as "Kalamon olives" outside this region.
Koroneiki olive tree in Tunisia.jpg
Messinia, Peloponnese, and Zakynthos. Cretan olives, referred also as elitses
Mirtolia Mainly Laconia Also Smertolia/Mourtolia
Nafpliou Valley of Argos in the Eastern Peloponnese peninsula. Usually a table olive
Patrinia Primarily in Aigialeia. High oil concentration of around 25%
Picholine Also Marocaine
Throubes or from Thassos
Olive trees on Thassos.JPG
Island of Thassos Naturally wrinkled when ripe and allowed to fall into nets. The only olives that can be eaten straight off the tree.
Tsounati (Ladolia)


See also


  1. ^ The Greek Observer:Vangelis Apostolou briefs Greek MEPs on EU’s post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (JULY 3, 2018)- Retrieved 2018-07-02
  2. ^ Greece production in 2018, by FAO
  3. ^ Polyzos, G.; Maistrou, E.; Mavrokordatou, D.; Mahairas, G.; Belavilas, N.; Papastefanaki, L. (2001). Greek Company of Chemicals and Fertilisers: Past and Future of a Historic Industrial Complex (PDF) (in Greek). Athens: NTUA, Department of Architecture. pp. 131–133.
  4. ^ R BitsakiMediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania Retrieved 2012-06-09
  5. ^ S Sekliziotis (USDA): 2002-11-09 – Foreign Agriculture Service Retrieved 2012-06-09
  6. ^ Retrieved 2018-07-02
  7. ^ The olive centre- Retrieved 2018-07-02
  8. ^ Archived 2018-07-02 at the Wayback Machine- Retrieved 2018-07-02
  9. ^ The Spruce eats- Retrieved 2018-07-02