10 years of Polish agriculture in EU
The celebrations of the 10th anniversary of Poland joining the European Union provide a good opportunity to sum up various processes, including the changes which have taken place in the Polish countryside during this time. Despite fears expressed before the accession, the majority of agricultural manufacturers appreciate our presence in the structures of united Europe.
Engine of changes
Common Agricultural Policy, which is conducted by all member states, constitutes the foundation of agricultural production in particular EU countries. For many farmers, the financing mechanisms of CAP have provided an opportunity to modernize their farms and become better prepared for the competition on the agricultural market. Seeing that land concentration has progressed at the same time (the average acreage of a farm rose from 8.5 hectares in 2004 to 10.2 ha in 2013), agricultural manufacturers have obtained a chance to develop their production, and at the same time buy more up-to-date equipment and improve profits.
Over the past decade EU subsidies have enabled to modernize 41,000 farms. New methods of production have been introduced, resulting in the rise of canola and agrimonia yield by 48%, sugar beet by 35%, and wheat by 21%. Consistent efforts of Polish farmers have made our country the leader of apple production in the European Union. We are also in the second place on the list of rye manufacturers and the third when it comes to canola and sugar beets. Modernization of cattle breeding has brought about the production of almost 13 million tonnes of milk per year, making Poland the fourth dairy manufacturer in the EU.
We sell more
Consequently, the value of agricultural goods exported from Poland increased fivefold from 4.1 billion EUR in 2003 to 20 billion in 2013. As much as 80% of exported produce reaches EU markets, while formerly the ex-Soviet republics forming the Commonwealth of Independent States were the main clients.
Poland is therefore the leader of agricultural production in Middle-Eastern Europe. In 2014-2020, thanks to 32.1 billion EUR of new financing (which is 1.6 billion EUR more than in the previous framework), it will be possible to consolidate our strong position on the European market of agricultural goods and grocery products.