A herd of sheep descended upon a partially flooded greenhouse in the vicinity of Almyros, Magnesia, Greece, with a peculiar appetite for medicinal cannabis. Reports have emerged indicating that these woolly culprits managed to consume approximately one hundred kilograms of this highly valued crop.
The bizarre incident unfolded as the sheep exhibited unusual behavior shortly after grazing in the semi-flooded plains of Thessaly. The perplexed shepherd, observing the uncharacteristic conduct of the flock, swiftly realized the extent of the devastation inflicted upon the cannabis crop.
Compounding the misfortune, the owner of the greenhouse arrived at the scene, already grappling with significant damages inflicted by Storm Daniel. His dismay deepened as he discovered that the remaining cannabis had fallen victim to the ravenous sheep. These animals, deprived of access to fresh grass due to the inundation, had developed an unexpected affinity for the cannabis plants.
Expressing a profound sense of disbelief and frustration, the greenhouse owner lamented, "I find myself torn between laughter and tears. We endured a scorching heatwave, resulting in substantial production losses. Then came the floods, which swept away nearly everything we had left. And now, this... The herd invaded the greenhouse and devoured what little remained. Frankly, I'm at a loss for words."
Greece has experienced a notable surge in investments in pharmaceutical cannabis in recent years, as many farmers have come to recognize its potential to address various agricultural challenges. In a momentous milestone celebrated in January 2023, Greece inaugurated its maiden medicinal cannabis production facility located in Examilia, near Corinth. This pioneering endeavor, spearheaded by Tikun Europe, a subsidiary of Israel-based Tikun Olam, garnered resounding support from Greek Development & Investments Minister, Adonis Georgiadis, who envisaged substantial exports of this valuable product to countries throughout Europe.
However, these aspirations have been marred by the tragic toll taken on livestock, including sheep, and agricultural production within central Greece. The relentless floods that surged through Thessaly and parts of Central Greece have claimed the lives of over a hundred thousand animals. Mayor Yiannis Kokouras of Tyrnavos sounded a clarion call for immediate assistance in the form of animal feed, underscoring the dire predicament faced by surviving livestock, which now teeter on the brink of starvation.
The far-reaching repercussions of the flooding extend beyond concerns for animal welfare. The agricultural landscape of Thessaly, often hailed as Greece's breadbasket, has been profoundly scarred. Nearly 70 percent of the cotton crop in Thessaly is estimated to have suffered damage, while apple farmers on the slopes of Mount Pelion, overlooking the Thessalian plain, grapple with losses totaling millions of euros due to the inundation.
The convergence of challenges posed by extreme weather events, sheep's unexpected appetite for cannabis, and widespread flooding has left an enduring imprint on this crucial agricultural region in Greece. It serves as a poignant reminder of the tenacity and resilience required to navigate the intricate tapestry of agricultural landscapes amidst adversity.
[With information sourced from Greek Reporter]