Herb Sector in Greece: Training Needs and Perspectives
The Greek flora is rich in native herbaceous plants and due to the Mediterranean climate, there are optimal climatic and soil conditions for their cultivation. Herbs play a very important role in the Greek rural economy and facilitate change in the national agro-food sector as it is still developing. In recent years, this sector has become an area of interest. Many farmers changed their old crops into new cultivations like herbs. This development requires investments, training programs, new studies, and projects in order to enrich the knowledge and skills of all the participants involved in the value chain. HEGO is a Black Sea Project, funded by the European Union, and one of its main goals is the modernization of enterprises associated with the cultivation, production, and promotion of diversified, sustainable, value-added herb products, as well as the enhancement of cross-border trade opportunities for local herb enterprises in participating Black Sea Basin countries (Greece, Moldova, Georgia, and Armenia). This paper explores the current situation of the herb sector in Greece regarding the cultivation, processing legislation, managerial issues, and the trade value of herb products. More specifically, its purpose is to investigate the current skills and expertise in herbs of the participants in Greece. Additionally, this paper explores the future training needs in relation to the above mention topics. Descriptive statistics, SWOT, and PEST analysis were performed. The main results of this research revealed the lack of knowledge of wildcrafting practices and trading. The importance of further training was highlighted, especially in marketing and trading skills. These findings can be used to develop training curricula and courses in order to cope with potential threats in the herb sector in Greece.
Keywords: herbs, Greece, training needs, skills, knowledge
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