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PM: 2011 a crucial year for agriculture sector

Δημοσίευση 13 Δεκεμβρίου 2010, 11:50 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
PM: 2011 a crucial year for agriculture sector
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Prime Minister George Papandreou on Sunday addressed a regional conference on agriculture production in the Cretan port city of Rethymno, where he told participants that 2011 will be a year of major changes in the sector.

Prime Minister George Papandreou on Sunday addressed a regional conference on agriculture production in the Cretan port city of Rethymno, where he told participants that 2011 will be a year of major changes in the sector.

Papandreou outlined his government's priorities in the sector, while expressing a notion that agriculture production can become a key to leading the country out of the economic recession.

"We have a difficult effort to change the country ... we must break the fiefdoms and exploit the state correctly ... the agriculture sector may not have been organised correctly, but it has a future. We are beginning a major effort from Rethymno, a viable, organised effort to create wealth, because this is necessary for the country's interests," he said.

Papandreou also did not mince his words in referring to past government practices in the sector. "Now is the time to change things, so that the unknown, bureaucracy, petty interests and clientele relations."

Amongst other, the Greek PM cited the example of agricultural cooperatives in the country as a model to be avoided.

In pointing to the need for a rejuvenation of the agriculture sector in the east Mediterranean country, Papandreou said Greece spends 6.5 billion euros every year on the import of farm goods and produce, "many times on products that are inferior to ours".

Referring to the "basket of goods" of each region, he said each geographical department in the country will promote brand name products from the region, particularly emphasising the "Cretan basket" of products and diet.

"We need a brand name, an identity with a certificate of quality for every product of each region," he concluded.

 

Later in the day, Papandreou toured the Mediterranean Agronomy Institute, in concluding his visit to western Crete.

The Greek premier was briefed on the institute's operation.

Students from 25 countries are currently enrolled at the institute, which offers up to 120 courses.

Agriculture ministry officials, PASOK deputies from Crete and newly elected regional office-holders accompanied Papandreou.