ATHENS — Rural Development and Food Μinister Makis Voridis pointed to a need for a more central and globally competitive role for Greece's agri-food sector in a statement issued on Friday, one day after his participation in Thursday's digital discussion on: "Reform of the primary sector for an advanced role in the state's new developmental model" held by the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce.
"We all want to see a more central role for the agri-food sector and I mean, of course, livestock, farming, fishing but I also include the food industry and processing, which is a very important part, and I think we can have significant comparative advantages and play a serious competitive role worldwide with various products. And this must be expressed with commitment in order to have investments that will lead us to a smarter, greener, more productive agriculture. To an agriculture that is able to make products and also to their processing that gives a high added value."
The minister referred to the challenges and solutions that were given in the midst of a pandemic, which managed to keep the agri-food chain intact. He focused on the movement of food and foreign workers, as well as the attempt to manipulate prices by some countries through restrictions on exports.
The president of the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce, Nikolaos Bakatselos, pointed out the need for a substantial diversification of the economy with an emphasis on agricultural products and said: "The Greek-American Chamber has long been in favour of a new production model, oriented towards modern agri-food needs that will utilise knowledge and technology with respect for tradition and the environment."
He added: "Strengthening producers, manufacturers and exporters is imperative, a goal that we are sure is shared by the prime minister, as he showed with the very recent vote on the relevant bill."