A merger plan for four organisations supervised by the agriculture ministry into a single agency, to be named Hellenic Agricultural Organisation 'Dimitra', will be presented at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday for a second reading, it was announced on Wednesday.
The entities that will be merged include the National Agricultural Research Foundation (EThIAGE), the Organisation of Agricultural Vocational Education Training and Employment (OGEEKA-Dimitra), the Agricultural Products Certification and Supervision Organisation-AGROCERT (OPEGEP) and Hellenic Milk and Meat Organisation (ELOGAK).
In order to ensure that the new agency will be established immediately, Agriculture Minister Costas Skandalidis has presented a draft joint ministerial decision that will be signed by him and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos. A temporary board of directors will be set up soon after the decision is published in the government gazette and personnel of the merged organisations will be transferred to the new agency.
The new entity will focus on the development of the agricultural economy and be responsible for drafting a strategic plan every three years aimed at shaping and implementing the country’s overall and unified agricultural policy.
The new entity is projected to have 1,000 employees, compared with the 2,885 employees now employed in the four merged organisations.
Reacting to the "labour reserve" measure, unions representing employees warned of strike actions.