Knowledge helps understand modern agriculture
We do not follow the changes of global trends in order to balance the food market on various continents, but in order to manage the development of our business in the appropriate manner. It is necessary to react to market changes in an adequate way, to be able to adjust to them, or even create them.
We are the second largest manufacturer of fertilizers in Europe. Keeping track of changes on a global scale is therefore very important for us. For example, the Chinese market has changed fundamentally over the past years. We reallocate our business activity and prepare new solutions for our clients. For example, our portfolio of fertilizers is becoming more and more attractive. The market is not only for “commodity” type fertilizers, but also fertilizers with added sulphur, boron and other elements.
Farmers on the educational path
Education is an additional task for the fertilizer-chemical business. Each year, we organize Science-Business-Agriculture conferences, the meeting point for scientists and practitioners from the sector. The conferences provide an opportunity to confront various outlooks on modern farming: the perspective of agricultural manufacturers, lecturers and businesspeople. The farmers who participate in the conferences give presentations about how they became successful, how they take advantage of technical innovations to make crops more efficient. Precision fertilization and farm management are bound to become the topic of many conversations.
Many Polish farms lack a managerial approach to agricultural production. We are endeavoring to participate in the transformation of farmers’ attitude to their businesses. We are trying to show how complex farm management is and to show that it now involves an increased presence of farmers on the agricultural market. To this end, we launched a postgraduate course for agricultural consultants co-organized with the Warsaw University of Life Sciences. The course is targeted at the staff of the fertilizer-chemical companies, and even more so at the people employed by fertilizer distributors who cooperate with such companies. We are keen on having competent specialists provide professional support for the farmers who buy fertilizers.
Counseling and education
At present the system of agricultural counseling in Poland is based on a state network of 16 Agricultural Advisory Offices, and a leading institution, the Agricultural Advisory Center located in the town of Brwinów. Their advisory role consists of completing applications for EU funding or providing help with other European Union documentation. This kind of help has been dubbed “paper counseling”.
In response to the growing needs of agricultural manufacturers and the producers of goods bought by the farmers, private kinds of advisory services began to be developed by the distributors. At present, agricultural manufacturers put pressure on the businesses from the sector to speed up the pace of such initiatives. Grupa Azoty “PUŁAWY” has signed agreements with Marie Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin and the Warsaw University of Life Sciences in order to educate closer to the practical aspects of the work, to teach about farm management which is efficient and effective.
Based on a speech by the Vice Chairman of Grupa Azoty Zakłady Azotowe “Puławy” S.A. at the latest Eastern Economic Congress organized in Białystok on September 18th and 19th, 2014.