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Greek island fire ravages unique export industry

Greek island fire ravages unique export industry

In response to Greece's financial crisis, villagers on the eastern island of Chios carried on with what their ancestors had been profitably doing for centuries: patiently carving lines on mastic trees.
But much of the island's trademark mastic gum industry went up in scented smoke over the past week as a wildfire ravaged the world's only mastic tree plantations during the heart of the harvest season.
As firefighters on Friday put out the last flare-ups from the six-day blaze, farmers said up to a quarter of the island's mastic groves have been wiped out.
In cash terms, producers stand to lose up to (EURO)3 million ($3.75 million) a year, because after replanting, it takes up to a decade before producers can start tapping the trees for their aromatic gum.


Updated : 2021-04-21 01:23 GMT+08:00