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Greece is undergoing a process of major public sector restructuring with many responsibilities and functions been transferred from the central government to regional authorities.

The system is still (and probably will be for quite some time) in flux.

Public Sector

Ministry for Rural Development and Food

Public Research Institutions with Extension Unit

  • The National Agricultural Research Foundation ( may merge with the Organization of Agricultural Vocational Education, Training and  Employment ( and thus there may be the kind of Public Research Institution with Extension Unit organization.

Semi-autonomous Governmental Extension Organizations

  • There are 57 Departments of Rural Development operating (till now) in all Greek Prefectures.
  • There are also 13 Regional Departments of Rural Development.

Universities that teach agricultural science and conduct research (but do not provide university based extension):
  • Agricultural University of Athens
  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Private Sector Organizations or Firms

  • There are many agronomists who provide farmers with all kinds of inputs (seeds, fertilizers, machinery, irrigation equipment etc.) who also provide advice (but not formally or requiring a fee);
  • There are about 650 agronomists (either persons or groups/companies) who are certified (by the Organisation for Certification & Inspection of Agricultural Products - AGROCERT ( according to the EU Regulation 1782/2003; their main task is to advice farmers on topics of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and especially on agri-environmental issues.

Farmer Based Organizations

  • In principle, the Unions of Cooperatives employ agronomists who are able of performing extension functions; however, these agronomists are largely confined in the role of  suppliers of inputs to farmers (by the coops).

Andrea Bohn,
29/12/2010 10:15