An excellent year is expected, especially if the weather holds and there are no damages, like last year.
With good omens, the chestnut harvest starts in a few days from today. The trees are quite loaded and the important thing is that there is no extensive weather damage. Last year many problems were created during the harvest, as a lot of water fell and a good production was lost.
Next weekend, Mr. Nikos Tsintsirakos, a producer from the Melivoia region, is expected to start harvesting chestnuts. As he explains while talking to AgroTypos, this year the chestnut has a good cutting (large sizes) and the commercial prospects are also excellent. Last year, as he tells us, there were heavy rains and floods in the area during the harvest, as a result of which several fruits were lost, which are known to be left to fall from the tree to be harvested. The positive thing is that the producers received compensation from ELGA for the loss of production, around 200 euros per hectare, according to Mr. Tsintsirakos. At the same time, as he mentions, there is already commercial interest, mainly from Italians, who take the largest quantities every year. Last year, it is recalled, the producer price for thick chestnuts of 30-40 pieces per kilo was 4 euros plus VAT. In total, in the municipality of Agia, production is estimated to reach approximately 3,000 tons this year, while in Melivoia, 1,500 to 1,800. As in other crops, producers face a problem with workers, who are hard to find.
Mr. Yiannis Petropoulos, a chestnut producer from Ano Kerasovo in Makrynia, Etoloakarnania, an area near the town of Agrinio, produces around 8 tons per year. As he reports, this year the weather has not created problems for the chestnuts and the last rains that fell were watering. According to him, in a few days the harvest starts and the interest of traders is very intense, as they have already made their presence felt in the area. Regarding prices, adds Mr. Petropoulos, it is still early days and dealers will have to see the sizes, quality, etc. Last year in Kerasovo, chestnuts fetched an average price of 2.70 – 2.80 euros per kilo and only the finest chestnuts were sold around 1.70 to 1.80 euros per kilo.
A good year, in terms of production, but also quality, is expected in the prefecture of Pieria this year. As Mr. Lefteris Poulios, a chestnut producer from Ano Milia, told AgroTypos: “there is good production and quality. We now have little to no wasp presence, no rot. We hope that producer prices will rise this year, from the 1.50 euros per kilo we were paying last year.”
For her part, Ms. Fotini Vairli, chestnut producer and president of the Paikos Chestnut Producers Cooperative based in the prefecture of Kilkis, finally emphasized to AgroTypos that based on today’s data there will be good production and the harvest will begin at the end of the month. According to the president, the Cooperative, which consists of 27 farmer-members, collects a production of around 250 tons every year. This year, as he concludes, is an earlier year.