The Context of Greek Agriculture

Innovation in agricultural finance, as it is claimed in this chapter, should be identified with respect to the more general market environment than by the characteristics of the product (loan). Agricultural finance should not be described merely as a flow of liquidity to the market, but it should aim at the elimination of structural problems of agricultural production and marketing in each market. Seen in this context, an innovation in agricultural finance will maximize the benefits for all participants in the market and will minimize the risks involved. To this end, a case study research has been designed, presenting the Piraeus Bank Contract Farming Program, which has been implemented in the Greek agricultural credit market. Apart from the author’s experience on the project, the sources of information are based on interviews with the following:

  • • Five managers of food-processing enterprises and cooperatives
  • • Ten farmers that participated in the bank’s Contract Farming Program
  • • Five bank employees of banks that were directly involved in agricultural finance
  • • Two academic experts in the field of Agricultural Economics
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