Author Topic: Corfu Economy  (Read 3913 times)

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Offline Steve

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Corfu Economy
« on: February 08, 2012, 10:54:37 PM »
About 65 per cent of Corfu's land is under cultivation. Of this, 55 per cent is devoted to olive trees, of which there are an estimated 3.5 million.

The rest of the cultivated area is used for vineyards, citrus fruit, vegetables and grazing.

About one million tourists visit Corfu annually and an estimated third of Corfu's working population is involved in tourism and its related industries.

Corfu has a population of 110,000 approximately, of which about 35,000 live in Corfu Town.

Stevie,  8)
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Offline Dennis

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Re: Corfu Economy
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2012, 09:07:15 PM »
Thank you Steve for that information.  In Agios Georgios north where we stay on holiday there are huge areas of olive groves plus a flat bottomed valley with quite rich alluvial soil which grows good crops in small fields and smallholdings.  However for years I have been puzzled as to why there are always large areas of neglected land in the valley. One such field which I knew grew excellent potatoes and beans but is now overgrown. I presume it is when the work becomes too much for the elderly or infirm owners but it is family land which they won't give up.
It is a shame to waste what small area of good land there is.
I wonder if this year we will see more of these unused plots being used to 'dig for victory' as our parents in UK had to do in and after WW2 ?

Dennis

Offline Steve

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Re: Corfu Economy
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2012, 09:43:54 PM »
Yes Dennis,

It is a fact that when the landowners get older they no longer have the strength to till the fields. A lack of modern day machinery means back breaking work.

The sons and daughters who are next in line to grow the crops have often got jobs in the Resorts or moved abroad to look for work.

When the older generation pass away the sons and daughters don't want to come back as they find it hard to make a living.

Maybe some of the wasted Millions of Euro money would have been better spent on Farming Machinery and cooperatives set up to create jobs.

In some cases the owners have emigrated and although they still own the land they have not visited for years.

Steve.
The "Corfu Villages Printed Book" is now available as the Corfu villages website. www.corfuvillages.eu Price 9.95 it contains 60 stunning pages in high gloss featuring 50 villages with text and unseen photographs. All money raised will go to the Corfu charities and the less fortunate on the Island.

Offline Dennis

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Re: Corfu Economy
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2012, 12:31:33 AM »
Why don't they let the land to someone who can do the work and so utilise a scarce asset ?

Offline Steve

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Re: Corfu Economy
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2012, 01:31:18 AM »
Good idea Dennis,

But who would take it on, Greeks?

It needs a total mindset change in the way people on the Island think and are going to survive these very difficult times in Corfu.

Personally, I think that all Supermarkets in Corfu should be demanding local produce.

If there is demand then there is an opportunity.

Steve,  8)

The "Corfu Villages Printed Book" is now available as the Corfu villages website. www.corfuvillages.eu Price 9.95 it contains 60 stunning pages in high gloss featuring 50 villages with text and unseen photographs. All money raised will go to the Corfu charities and the less fortunate on the Island.

Offline Trisa

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Re: Corfu Economy
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2012, 10:36:29 AM »
Seen in the Athens News....

Farming - key to Greek future  http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/1/53764
Think before you speak! If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

Offline Bob

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Re: Corfu Economy
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2012, 10:49:00 AM »
Hi all,

A few observations!

Having lived in a Greek village for many years I can tell you that much of the land that is apparently unused is actually used. There are all sorts of private agreements. We in fact used to allow grazing of sheep and goats on our land until the house build reached the stage where to do so was dangerous.

If you think about it, you can't just let land that doesn't belong to you. The fact that the owner has done nothing with it for decades is beside the point. It is still their land. Frequently, because of the way property is inherited, there are many owners to a parcel of land and getting them to agree is frequently nigh on impossible.

It is not unusual for three or four olive trees in the middle of an olive grove to be bequeathed to the church!

As for demanding local produce .... It is all down to economy of scale. Major supermarkets cannot afford to shop around. If they did, consumers would never be able to afford the produce. We used to have all manner of industries in Corfu. Eg Dairy, Rope Making, Paper mills. They ceased to be economically viable.

Smaller supermarkets do use local suppliers or grow much of their own produce but sometimes it is not offered at realistic prices. I will give just one example. A local pantopoloeon owner has free range chickens. He sells free range eggs at 50 cents each. I can go to the mini-market a few doors away and buy six (very large) eggs for 1.50. Do the math! That is why we try to buy our eggs from 'Beanie' who sells free range eggs at a very favourable price! (See the small adds forum!)

It is nice to have these romantic ideas about how life should be conducted but realistically in the modern world they rarely go beyond dreams. We have tried the 'good life'. It's damned hard work!

Just my two leptas worth!

Bob
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 10:51:59 AM by Bob »
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Offline baywatcher

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Re: Corfu Economy
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2012, 10:59:47 AM »
I have noticed over the past year people have been returning to their land certainly in our village. One villager has a rotavator and was in huge demand last Spring. There are also 3 families who have left Athens and returned to their inherited houses/land because they could no longer afford to live in Athens. So I think more and more people will start cultivating land which before was left to grow wild myself included.

Denise
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Offline Dennis

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Re: Corfu Economy
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2012, 10:43:07 AM »
Exactly my point, Denise.  Last May I noticed that a field, which had been idle and overgrown for years, had been cleared AND cultivated again. I mentioned it to my friend and he said, yes, that is beginning to happen.

Yes there are problems. I know there are family ways and inheritance factors but so there is with old houses which are often left uninhabited for decades only to fall into ruin. However in the last few years more and more of those are being sold and refurbished by the new owners, often newcomers to the village. Is this a good thing or a bad thing ?  That depends on the outlook of the person being asked.  But it is happening and the village moves on ...  as must the economy!

If you think about it, you can't just let land that doesn't belong to you. The fact that the owner has done nothing with it for decades is beside the point. It is still their land. Frequently, because of the way property is inherited, there are many owners to a parcel of land and getting them to agree is frequently nigh on impossible.

Right on the beach road at Agios Georgios is a good example of this, Bob, and it is real eyesore with piles of spoil etc, spoiling the glorious view. I was told that the owners live away and do not care. What a shame and what effect does it have on visitors impressions ?

Dennis

Offline Bob

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Re: Corfu Economy
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2012, 12:27:32 PM »

------------------------------ Snip ------------------------------
Right on the beach road at Agios Georgios is a good example of this, Bob, and it is real eyesore with piles of spoil etc, spoiling the glorious view. I was told that the owners live away and do not care. What a shame and what effect does it have on visitors impressions ?

Dennis

A couple of points! What one is told and what is reality are often totally different in my experience! (But then I am naturally cynical!) Things really are not always how they seem!

I agree that it is a shame when properties become derelict for want of a better word but again, the reality is that many need pulling down and rebuilding in the first place. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh but I simply do not share the 'romantic' views of many foreigners in Greece. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want things destroyed simply because they are old! (I'd be a gonna for a start!)

One should not be quick to dismiss the issues relating to inheritance when it comes to land and property in Greece. I have lost count of the people that I have met who have had sales fall through because one family member has walked away from the deal. It really can be a minefield. It was one of (but not the only) reasons that we decided to build. Even then, we had to deal with two different family members. We were fortunate that there was no background family feuds and it was dealt with both amicably and honourably.

People do come back to villages. We have read about and experienced the fact that Greeks invariably return to their roots. We have one family in our village who migrated to Germany many years ago and upon retirement, returned to his family home. He now has a spectacular vegetable plot!

For many villages, it would be good to see more younger people returning. Ours is a classic example. Sadly, I can't see many of the younger generation returning having had a taste of life in the big cities around the world. Maybe when they reach retirement age, who knows?

Bob
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Offline lias

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Re: Corfu Economy
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2012, 08:15:41 PM »
How wise you are Bob.    Because of the Napoleonic law which still exists here regarding inheritance, there are many pieces of land owned by many people or under litigation as to who actually owns what.   I know this only too well because of my children's inheritance.   They own a beautiful walnut grove (with a stream running along one boundary) and a few olive trees in the north of the island.   As neither of them are able to find work here, the land lies fallow.   They wished to offer the use of the fertile land to a distant cousin, but other family members were not happy.   I think I have been spurred on to encourage them to just give their distant cousin the go ahead and stuff the rest of them!

 

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