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 Olive Oil

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Olive oil is a major agricultural product of the Greek economy, particularly dietary and of great economic importance for the region of Achaia. It is considered to be at the top of the dietary food chain, with high biological value, due to polyphenols and vitamin E, that provide high antioxidant activity. It is a also a source of income for farmers, especially in mountainous regions of Achaia.

Cultivation of olive trees is the main source of income for the residents of Achaia prefecture and it’s usually described as a traditional cultivation emanating from ancient years. In many areas the presence of aged trees, called "old" trees, whose trunk diameter exceeds the 1 to 1.5 meter, proves the involvement of residents in this cultivations from many centuries ago.

The total number of olive trees is 4.126.391, and the number of olive producers is 24.819, while oil production reached 9.011.355 kg (6.702.016 kg in the province of Patras) in 2001-2002. Cultivation is extensive even though one will find scattered trees all around. Areas known for systematic cultivation of the olive (olive) are mostly located in western Achaia (hilly area) in the provinces of Patras and Aigialeia.

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Most of the trees are not irrigated, even though in recent years automated irrigation systems expanded, with significant increase in production.

In areas that olive trees are not irrigated, areas that are amphitheatrically situated (Vrachneika, hilly area of Patras and Aigialeia) or in hilly areas, the produced oil distinguished by its quality and the characteristic aroma. In this particular quality of produced oil, significant contribution is appointed to the calcium-rich olive farms, the many scattered olive - mills that use traditional methods and the special cultivation techniques of these regions. In recent years, efforts are made by the Agricultural Unions of Patras and Aigio, in order to implement modern cultivation techniques and embed good agricultural practices with aim to reinforce agri-environmental measures of the EU.

The percentage of producers that implement organic farming in their olive farms and also are certified by recognized credential agencies is currently limited.

 

altCultivated varieties in Achaia Prefecture

The main varieties of olives established and cultivated for oil production are: Koroneiki Koutsourelia Mothonia and Lianolia. The performance of these varieties ranges from 15% to 22% regarding oil production. On a smaller scale, dual purpose variety Megaritiki is cultivated, especially in mountainous Aigialeia.

 

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