Food security in Poland and the national legislation

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A discussion about food security in Poland ought to start from the laws and regulations currently in force in the country. At present, agricultural produce we consume may come from any place in the world. Consequently, it would be advisable for the regulations concerning food, which are becoming stricter and stricter, to be implemented consistently by suitable institutions and supervisory bodies.

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Food security of Poland

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Poland is relatively safe from the threat of losing food security. However, the situation could be improved further thanks to various measures. Most of them are connected with judicious agricultural policy.

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What about food prices?

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This year the prices of food are to rise slightly. Experts estimate the growth at 2%.

Rising exports

The first reason for this situation is growing sales of Polish food abroad. Despite allegations directed at Polish food manufacturers, in the first half of 2013 we exported 14% more goods than in the same period on 2012. By the way, if the total value of agricultural products exported in 2012 reached 18 billion EUR, isn’t it likely that this year the figure will reach a record high?

What about food prices?/fot. photopin.comInvestment is indispensable

The increase in prices is not only caused by international trade exchange and inflation, but also the rising needs of the farmers. This does not mean that agricultural producers are greedy, but indicates the necessity to gain resources to invest in modernization of the production technology. Such progress is vital if one wants to expand the volume of produced goods, making them more available on the market, and, as a result, cheaper. Without investment, it would be impossible to maintain the current level of food pricing.

What may stop the prices from rising

A factor counteracting the market pressure to drive prices up might be the falling rate of growth of disposable income of Polish citizens. Budgets of families have been growing far more slowly since the global economic crisis broke out. September 2013 data shows that the average salary in commercial companies had risen by 3.6% in the past 12 months. Shrinking wallets trigger stop decisions about buying consumer goods. This has stabilized food prices to a large extent.

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Agricultural counseling in Poland. How to boost farming efficiency?

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According to scientific research, the importance of cooperation in the “fertilizer producers – distributors – agricultural representatives – farmers” chain is on the increase.

Professional farming educators wanted

“PUŁAWY” is among institutions which support the idea that each end-user of our products ought to be supported by a few farming representatives, as well as by advisers specializing in agricultural technology. The strategy of providing farmers with knowledge is an element of business model proven to provide benefits to either side of the process.

Farmers seek information

Whenever I participated in Dni Pola event (Farming Days), I saw agricultural technicians providing farmers with advice and know-how. Farmers attend Dni Pola eagerly and there starts the process of establishing a network of information flow between market participants. This was why “PUŁAWY” and Warsaw University of Life Sciences have launched postgraduate courses for agricultural consultants, in order to increase the knowledge of those professionals. The first exam session has finished recently and 33 graduates received diplomas and certificates of plant protection expertise.

Towards optimized fertilization

As a fertilizer manufacturer, “PUŁAWY” is keen on fostering the education of agricultural consultants. We are intent on following this direction. We are interested in implementing and running the best agricultural practices, so as to make fertilizer use as efficient as possible. It is not about using the largest quantity of fertilizers, but about using them in the best manner possible. We are keen on reducing nitrogen loss during fertilizer application procedures and we are hopeful that in 10 years’ perspective nitrogen use will grow considerably.

Education first

Specialist knowledge about fertilization should be provided to farming entrepreneurs depending on their needs and expectations. Basing on research, experts stress the fact that in while in 2010 as many as 72% farmers took decision concerning fertilization following only their own judgment, in 2012, 35% farmers already took into consideration opinions of their friends and acquaintances! The fertilizer-chemical companies believe that we need to become a part of this trusted circle. A Polish farmer today is a dynamic, hard-working young person, open to the world and to education. All we need is to provide knowledge in an accessible way. Consequently, it is vital to reach the farmers with essential information, using the distributors and their agricultural representatives.

Building mutual trust

Another tool adopted by “PUŁAWY” is organizing and participating in conferences and symposiums. Postgraduate courses and the activity of “PUŁAWY” Competences Center aim at educating farming managers, who will next pass the knowledge on to farmers. As a result, we foster trust between the manufacturer, the agricultural consultant and the farmer.

Based on a talk by Zenon Pokojski Ph.D. at IFMA 19 Congress in Warsaw – July 26th 2013.

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