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Rural pilot 3: Central Greece

Rural district description

Central Greece is a region located in the heart of the country, encompassing diverse landscapes ranging from mountainous terrains to coastal areas. This region boasts a rich array of natural resources and local products, contributing to its unique identity and economic significance. An integrated intervention strategy is required to address the correlations between environmental protection, mitigating the risks of technological and natural disasters, developing business infrastructure, attracting investments, creating jobs, and fostering social cohesion in both rural and urban areas. This need has been indicated by the Region of Central Greece. In order to preserve its natural resources and encourage both urban and rural entrepreneurship, the region must implement policies and development initiatives.

Challenge description

The Greek pilot aims to address several key challenges critical to the region's development. These challenges include an aging population, with a high proportion of individuals over 70, and limited employment opportunities for young people, particularly in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, forcing young graduates to relocate to urban centers in search of better job opportunities. At the same time however, there are significant deficiencies in digital skills among the existing workforce. Additionally, recognizing the obstacles that farmers encounter in embracing sustainable agriculture practices is essential. For agriculture to be sustainable, it needs to ensure to meet the markets demand, while maintaining profitability, safeguarding the environment and natural landscape, and promoting social and economic equity. Encouraging sustainable farming practices is crucial for the long-term viability of the environment and the agricultural sector. Additionally, financial barriers hinder the adoption of innovative methods in agriculture, such as digital solutions in farming. The lack or limitations of subsidies for agricultural digital tools, such as smart farming or precision agriculture tools, makes it difficult for farmers and other stakeholders to invest both in the tools themselves and in corresponding skills training programs for farmers and other stakeholders.

Anticipated result

The PoliRuralPlus initiative in Central Greece seeks to enhance agricultural efficiency through targeted training in digital technologies, such as precision agriculture or smart farming methods. Smart agriculture uses advanced tools to monitor and manage crops and soil, ensuring optimal growth and resource utilization. Training programs will equip farmers with necessary skills, leading to more efficient operations.

Additionally, the pilot will leverage ICT services to improve the promotion of local agricultural products as well as the natural landscape of the region. Farmers can increase visibility through digital marketing, social media, and dedicated websites. Highlighting projects, funding schemes, and opportunities on the regional website can boost visits and interest. Promotional actions like newsletters, publications, and press releases will further increase visibility, supporting the growth and sustainability of the local economy.

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