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Tomato imports to Greece increased substantially

Tomato imports in Greece have increased by leaps and bounds recently.

According to the data of the fruit and vegetable exporters of the Incofruit - Hellas Association, from 1/9 to 19/10/2023, Greece imports amounted to 8,677 tons (against 3,750 tons in 2022), of which from Turkey 5,704 tons (against 3,724 tons last year).

"Certainly, the consumers did not see anywhere that they were buying Turkish tomatoes," the greenhouse horticultural producer from Gargaliani, Mr. Asimakis Demeroukas, tells AgroTypos. And he adds: "And while we see that we consume imported vegetables in Greece, Morocco has managed to be a key supplier of tomatoes to Europe.

Suffice it to say that in 2021, around 67% of fresh tomato imports into the EU came from Morocco. Morocco's tomato exports are also recording record numbers for the 2022/2023 season, with more than 700,000 tonnes to Europe, 51% of which went to France.

But let's see why Morocco appears to have one of the most well-planned agricultural programs in the world, with a primary focus on exports.

Recently, the Minister of Rural Development and Fisheries of Morocco, Mohamed Seddiki, announced a subsidy of 50% to 70% of the value of the cost of growing horticulture, especially tomatoes, onions, and potatoes.

In particular, he stated that tomato cultivation would be subsidized, from 3,600 to 6,300 euros, from 720 to 1,300 euros for potato cultivation, and from per hectare (1 hectare = 10 acres).

The state will also offer farmers 600,000 tons of phosphate fertilizers and subsidize the import of nitrate fertilizers with 200 million euros.

Our country will have to compete in foreign markets with Moroccan products supported by the government of Rabat.

In Morocco, in 1975, there were 160 hectares of greenhouses, 48,000 in 1991, and 240,000 hectares last year. As a result, 990 million euros was the revenue for Morocco from the export of tomatoes alone in 2022.

Accordingly, in Greece, in 1980, there were about 30,000 acres of greenhouses, and in 2020, we had an increase to 65,000 acres (almost double).

In Greece, there are two solutions to reduce the prices of vegetables on the shelf. Either import will increase, or there will be a strategy to solve the problems of cultivation. The government will make the final decisions."


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