Aristotelis Papageorgiou is an acting professor in the Dimocretus University of Thrace. He performs research in the area of evolutionary genetics of plants. He lives in Orestiada in Thrace (North-eastern Greece). He has developed many activities in environmental protection, and agricultural development issues. He has worked for WWF Hellas in forest protection programs and he is to date a board member of the organization. In addition, he is a keen runner and cyclist, and he keeps a small vegetable garden, where he grows indigenous plant varieties.
What are "local" agricultural plant varieties?
Today, global agricultural production is based on just a few agricultural plant varieties, created during the so called "green" revolution of the 20th century. This is the reason that "local" races of those plants, which were better adapted to specific area characteristics, have been abandoned. We are now obliged to record and protect these local varieties in order to achieve small scale quality agricultural products.
In this grim climate of greek reality, where disappointment and panic prevail, two hopeful trends seem to dawn. The first relates to the demand for better quality of life in all social groups, and the second to the increasing number of young people returning to agriculture. These two trends combined, give rise to a growth potential, that correctly operated can bring not just financial, but mainly social benefits. What is the right way for this return to primary production to be realized? The answer does not seem to be restricted to technical issues, but mainly to the change of our society's attitude.