Polish farming today
Manufacturing fertilizers is not the only task of Grupa Azoty PUŁAWY, as the Company is keen on providing farmers with benefits from the cultivation of land. Over the years of functioning on the market, we have gained knowledge about the changes Polish farming has undergone in recent years. We have found it necessary to customize the sales network of our products to the changing shape of Polish agriculture.
Many models of farming in the Polish countryside
Getting to know your customers is vital if one wishes to provide fertilizers in a competent manner. We have therefore analyzed the profile of the client who purchases our products. The issue which proved crucial was identifying the motivation and methods of running one’s own agricultural business.
Providing a single description of a “contemporary Polish farmer” is far from easy. A typical farmer living in Podlaskie voivodeship will have a different approach to farm management from the methods used by a farmer from Kujawy region. A farmer from Opolskie voivodeship will use three times more fertilizers than a farmer from Małapolskie voivodeship. Crops in Kujawy region are 150% of the yield in Małapolskie voivodeship. The discrepancies are significant. Also, the average acreage of farms in various regions is also quite different. Currently, there are over 29,000 farms over 50 hectares, 130,000 farms over 30 hectares, and over 200,000 farms smaller than 20 hectares. The large farms may be called “commercial” farms, as land cultivation is a form of business activity for them. The lesser farms may be classified as “traditional” and follow the modal which has developed over decades.
Farmers and the internet
The number of people who make use of the internet to manage their farms better has been growing. The so-called precision farming is especially popular in Opolskie voivodeship. Over 80% of Polish farms have internet access at present, and 74% of farmers who own over 50 hectares of land are active internet users. An agricultural manufacturer today does not resemble the stereotypical farmer in the least. We need to reshape the tools used for communication between the representatives of fertilizer-chemical sector and the farmers. IT tools ought to be used better and more frequently. The Polish farmer deserves a better image. The printed press is an important source of knowledge for the farmers as well. However, this also varies from region to region, with press readership among farmers below 10% in Świętokrzyskie and over 50% in Pomorskie.
Transformation of Polish farming
The scale of changes in the Polish countryside is immense, especially in the last decade, or since Poland joined the EU. In 2003 the exportation of Polish food and fresh produce was worth 3 billion EUR, while in 2013 this figure had grown to 20 billion EUR, constituting 12% of Polish exports. The value of the export in this sector exceeds the import by 6 billion EUR. Agricultural production gives Poland a competitive advantage over other European countries. What we need to focus on now is branding of Polish food. Especially that it is the trade of foodstuffs that helps improve the international trade exchange balance of our economy.
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.