This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Agriculture in Greece" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (February 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this message)
Valley of Messara, Crete

Agriculture in Greece is deeply rooted in history, and based on its Mediterranean climate. This practice encompasses a wide array of crops, including olives, grapes, citrus fruits, cereals, and vegetables, with a notable emphasis on olive oil production, establishing Greece as a global leader in this industry. The country's vineyards produce tons of grapes and also yield renowned wines. Greece also produces a wide variety of livestock products. Fisheries are playing an important role while forestry plays a secondary role.

Greek agriculture is based on small, family-owned dispersed units. Currently, 47,9% of agricultural land is arable land, 27,4% is composed of tree plantations, 2,1% is composed of vines and 22,4% is composed of other cultivations (mostly used as pasture land).[1] Greek agriculture employs 615,000 farmers, 12,4% of the total labor force.[2] It produces more than 4,2% of the national GDP,[1] occupies 2.824.449 hectares of land and is the main source of occupation for the majority of rural areas in the country.

Current production

Currently, Greek agriculture like other countries of the European Union is heavily subsidized by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Certain deductions of subsidies are planned within the next decade.[3]

Greece produced in 2018:

In addition to smaller productions of other agricultural products.[4]

Modern history

See also: Agriculture in ancient Greece

19th century

Exportation of raisin; port of Patras, late 19th century
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.[5]

The main varieties of domestic wheat produced in Greece during 2002 were FLAVIO, VAVAROS and MEXA.[6]

In 2020 Greece had 530,679 farms, a 26,6% decrease from 2009 when it had 723,006 farms. 12,588 of those were certified organic or under conversion, a decrease of 23,5% from 2009 when organic farms amounted to 16,448, but at the same time the number of hectares certified as organic increased by 19,3% from 130.828 hectares in 2009 to 156.058 hectares in 2020.[1]

Notable products

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
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.
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
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. ^ a b c "Αποτελέσματα Απογραφής Γεωργίας - Κτηνοτροφίας 2021". (in Greek). Piraeus: Hellenic Statistical Agency (ELSTAT). 2022. Retrieved 2023-04-08.
  2. ^ "Στατιστικές Απασχόλησης". (in Greek). Hellenic Statistical Agency (ELSTAT). 7 March 2023. Retrieved 2023-04-08.
  3. ^ The Greek Observer Archived 2018-07-03 at the Wayback Machine:Vangelis Apostolou briefs Greek MEPs on EU’s post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (JULY 3, 2018)- Retrieved 2018-07-02
  4. ^ Greece production in 2018, by FAO
  5. ^ 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. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2021-04-13. Retrieved 2021-04-13.
  6. ^ S Sekliziotis (USDA): 2002-11-09 – Foreign Agriculture Service Retrieved 2012-06-09
  7. ^ Archived 2021-01-26 at the Wayback Machine- Retrieved 2018-07-02
  8. ^ The olive centre- Retrieved 2018-07-02
  9. ^ Ghanbari, Rahele; Anwar, Farooq; Alkharfy, Khalid M.; Gilani, Anwarul-Hassan; Saari, Nazamid (2012). "Valuable Nutrients and Functional Bioactives in Different Parts of Olive (Olea europaea L.)—A Review". International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 13 (3): 3291–3340. doi:10.3390/ijms13033291. PMC 3317714. PMID 22489153.
  10. ^ The Spruce eats- Retrieved 2018-07-02