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Start date: 01 Aug 2016, End date: 31 Jul 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Panhellenic Association of Technologists of Agronomy has designed this project entitled "Methods of cultivation and processing of aromatic plants" which is addressed to 25 agronomists, Human Resources managers that are Members of the Union. In recent years both abroad and in Greece there is a shift of consumers to healthier eating patterns. This trend has led to increased demand for natural products and particularly with regard to aromatic herbs due to their properties and multiple uses on the food industry - beverage and pharmaceutical-cosmetics. The cultivation of aromatic plants is a dynamic culture for our country that thrives in disadvantaged areas (mountainous or hilly) contributing to the restructuring of crops and increasing the income of producers. In the European Union 650,000 acres are cultivated with main producing countries France, Poland, Spain, Germany, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. In Greece, the area under cultivation amounts to 23,000 acres with a production of 3000 tons, the interest of cultivation intensely begins to rise in growing aromatic and medicinal plants, however, it remains an unexploited wealth for the country. These are crops that do not have special requirements, adapt very well to the Mediterranean climate, can exploit poor and degraded soils and generate sufficient income to producers. It should also be noted that the soil and climatic conditions of our country are particularly prone to develop aromatic plants that give excellent quality products.The program entitled "Methods of cultivation and processing of aromatic plants” comes to meet this need and to follow the example of Poland which is the second country after France in cultivated areas and the 3rd Country of exports worldwide. So Poland has considerable experience in the field of herbs and for this reason it was chosen in order to achieve the best learning outcomes for the participants. The goal of the project is for participants to be trained and become informed professionals to deal comprehensively and completely the "Growing of Aromatic Plants" at all stages of cultivation, processing, processing, distillation, distribution, and marketing. In particular, they will acquire the expertise to apply the most appropriate methods and techniques to the specific requirements of the cultivation of aromatic plants, harvest and processing. Meanwhile, the students will gain knowledge and information on the uses and applications and exploitation areas and the methods and procedures for the production of high added value products and their quality standards. The needs for the implementation of this program stems from the fact that professionally the technologists of agronomy will understand the cycle of cultivation and production of herbs and will be specialized to the subject by acquiring knowledge and expertise to support herbs production and processing units. Besides the cultivation of aromatic plants in Greece has been going on for decades, and is still considered a relatively new field of action for the Greek area offering an alternative dynamic growth in the primary sector, while giving impetus and in the secondary sector of processing. Through the project HR managers technologists of agronomy will gain additional capabilities for:1. The cultivation methods of aromatic plants.2. Standardization methods.3. To promotion procedures in the markets.4. To diversify products with marks of quality available on the market. This project is expected to generate a multiplier effect with regard to:1. Improve the level of knowledge, skills and culture of different kinds of herbs.2. The approach of innovative manufacturing plants management issues.3. The implementation of best practices on issues related to the manufacturing process of the herbs.4. To highlight the importance of the European dimension of education-training. The total project duration is two weeks and will take place in Poland with the participation of 25 beneficiaries. The host organization Omni Centrum Edukacji Grzegorz Wolski chosen for the implementation of the program has great experience with both adult education and training in this subject. The choice of country is not random in which the aromatic plants sector in cultivation and exports has special bloom.
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