Greece is developing into a strong "player" in the field of aromatic plants, Rural Development and Food Minister Stavros Arachovitis said on Monday during the 30th International Symposium on the Chemistry of Natural Products and the 10th International Conference on Biodiversity.
He noted that Greece is a "natural hotspot of biodiversity", as its flora contains more than 6,000 western species and more than 1,000 endemic species.
"The exceptional hot and dry conditions prevailing in Greece facilitate the development of a greater concentration and variety of pharmaceutical substances, so it is a good follow-up to what is being done for research in Greece," Arachovitis said.
The minister stressed that the scientific workforce in Greece is excellent, underlining that "the state's job is to help, to contribute to research in any way and to capitalise on the benefits for the benefit of consumers, domestic industry, but especially the producers for the development of alternative crops."
The president of the organising committee and Professor of Pharmacognosy and Chemistry of Natural Products of the Department of Pharmacy of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Leandros Skaltsounis, referred to Greece's great prospects "not only in the agricultural but also the development sector" of medicinal plants. He noted that Greece is rich in aromatic plants and "if we can convert some of them into pharmaceuticals, we will have tremendous prospects."