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Contemporary crops and development

Nowadays we are living in an environment where free market and fierce competition exists. In this conditions farmers are now involved in modern crops. Lately, a lot of discussion is stated about energy crops, aromatic and medicinal plants (cultivable or not), and snail rearing.

Contemporary Crops Today

A product’s originality is not enough nowadays, quality is also needed for a company in order to succeed.  As a result, conventional crops take place in the field of alternative cultivation .
 
Producers acquire these promising cultivations and choose to get in business with alternative crops such as truffle, strawberry, pomegranate, and hippophaes but also with aromatic and Pharmaceutical plants such as aloe, chamomile, rosebush and rosemary which are considered to be dynamic and alternative investments. There is a rise in snail breeding and traditional crops like asparagus.

Future crops
 

TRUFFLE

 Is a dark grey or white colored mushroom that its size varies from 2 to 7 cm and has tuber shape. Grows into the soil from 8 to 15 cm depth and is considered to be a gourmet dish worldwide. It is collected during the winter from specially trained dogs, which identify and collect it in safe way protecting it from their claws.
 

POMEGRANATE

Perhaps one of the oldest cultivated fruit trees, originated in Persia, and it is cultivated in Greece from ancient times. Its cultivation in our country was practically unknown but in recent years there is a trend of planting pomegranate trees. The easiest method of multiply is grafting, while the full growth of the fruits happens in autumn.
 

ASPARAGUS

It is not a new crop in Greece however it is considered one of the most dynamic as the quality of Greek asparagus ranks among the best in European market. It is a product that sells out in the market as each thousand square meter production gives approximately 800 kg of asparagus, with prices starting from 2,50€ per kg. So we are talking about a production that gives approximately 2.000€ per thousand square meter.
 

AVOCADO

Annually in Greece about 7.000 tons are being consumed, but because domestic production is small, 3.000 tons are imported. It is a product of huge potential, since it has high nutrition value basically because of its high content in unsaturated fatty acids while its oil is used in pharmaceutics.
 

PECAN

A deciduous tree originated in Mexico. The fruit is similar to nut. It can be consumed either fresh or dried, but it is also used for oil extraction.
 

MUSHROOMS

Mushrooms have great nutrition value as they contain large amount of water, fiber, minimum fat, small amount of sugar, proteins, minerals and trace elements, vitamins and enzymes. The cultivation of oyster mushroom variety is easier than that of white mushroom as the process of creating the necessary substrate in soil is simple and the construction of crop chambers has a lower cost. 
 

ALOE

Also known as plant of immortality historically was considered being the elixir of health and beauty of Queen Cleopatra. It is a slow-growing plant that reaches a height up to 1.6 m. It requires 4-5 years to grow and it remains productive from 3 to 9 years. During its lifetime, it produces more than 80 sheets.
 

STEVIA

It is used as a sweetener for more than 400 years. The extract from its leaves is 300 times sweeter than sugar. It has no caloric value and therefore it is an ingredient of light type soft refreshments. Drinks and candy are also produced by using stevia as a substitute for sugar.
 

HIPPOPHAES

Its leaves and fruits were fed to injured horses of Alexander the Great and they recovered and gained power faster. Its fruits are rich in carbohydrates, proteins, organic acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals and they are an important source of flavonoids. Used mostly in jams, juices, preservatives, compotes and beverages. The essential oils of its seeds are a valuable product for manufacturing pharmaceutical products.
 

BLUEBERRY

A deciduous shrub of the strawberry tree family that can reach up to 2m. It is an excellent source of vitamin C and it is rich in fiber. It is a rare source of manganese, which plays an important role in bone growth and the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids. It also contains substances with antioxidant effects. Recent studies have shown anti-tumor activity of certain substances of blueberries. It has also been demonstrated that blueberry consumption improves eyesight.  
 

GOJI BERRY

It grows for centuries in China, especially in Tibet. The fruit is used in Chinese medicine and is known for stimulating the function of liver and kidney. It has a bright orange and red color and usually it is found in dried form, while it is very soft and tender. Chinese people consider it as a powerful long age enhancer  having anti-aging effects.
 
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