The study focuses on growth opportunities in 5 major ‘production sectors’ which are already of prime importance to the Greek economy and on 8 ‘rising stars’, i. e. new sectors where present activity is still small but where significant potential can be expected. In this post, I will focus on the ‘production sector’ of agriculture (page 51 in the executive summary).
Production Sector – Agriculture
GTYA describes the current state of Greek agriculture as dismal. This is particularly critical because agriculture is such an important sector for the Greek economy (contribution to total GVA almost triple the level of the EU-15; about 13% of total employment). The key weaknesses are:
– low productivity (GVA per person 44% below EU-15)
– labor costs doubled from 2000-08
– penetration of EU-markets very low (<2% for Greece; 10% for Italy; 13% for Spain)
To address this situation, GTYA recommends to focus on four major areas:
* differentiating and focusing Greece’s product and marketing strategy – prioritize target export markets; pursue differentiated product strategies based on product clusters;
* improving competitiveness through scale, productivity and quality – revisit land allocation; explore the utilization of publicly-owned land; scale-up production units in suitable geographies; performance incentives to stimulate production scale and consolidation; incentives for modern land and production management methods; new certification and standardization mechanisms
* ensuring market access and local presence – launch Greek Agricultural Products campaign in key export markets; establish Greek Food Company (private or PPP); pool small and medium size primary production units; plan, establish and operate a suitable commercial and market presence model; manage logistics within and outside Greece; develop wholesaler and retailer networks in export markets
* developing capabilities and supporting mechanisms – build a dedicated Agricultural (and Aquaculture) University Degree; establish Agricultural Development Institute; incentives for farmers to rejuvenate workforce and increase labor input productivity
GTYA projects that, within 10 years, the annual incremental gross added value (GVA) could be 4,5 BEUR, employment could increase by about 140.000 and the trade balance could improve by 2,7 BEUR. For details, please refer to the GTYA-report.