Sustainable farming and Rural Development Program
The European Union has been promoting the pro-environmental agriculture model for years now. The attitude is visible in the current Rural Development Program, whose five pillars include sustainable farming.
The model promoted by Rural Development Program involves balancing systematically the targets of farmers and the requirements of the natural environment. In other words, the project envisions a kind of farming which involves conscious respect for the natural environment via good agricultural practice. The methodology concerns good fertilization practice, crop rotation, and the need to inspect and control the soil.
Rural Development Program sets precise requirements for the farmers. They include: ownership of a farm measuring over one hectare, using adequate types of plants in crop rotation (including legumes and pulses), conducting soil analysis concerning phosphorous, potassium and magnesium content, preparing a fertilization plan, limiting the use of nitrogen (to 150 kg/h) and drawing up an activity scheme that takes into consideration agriculture, the environment and the climate.
Entitlement to a subsidy
The agricultural manufacturer who fulfills the criteria above is entitled to financial support over five years’ time. However, only the owners whose farms are between 1 and 20 hectares shall receive the full sum of support. The subsidy is payable for each hectare of arable land only and is worth 400 PLN per hectare.
Promoting good practice
The model of sustainable farming promoted by Rural Development Program is meant to raise the general environmental awareness of agricultural manufacturers and to educate farmers about the rational fertilization of plants. This is of great importance for a country like Poland, where the consumption of fertilizers is rising much faster than the efficiency of the plantations.
Policy which may bring benefits
Rational use of fertilizers leads to the improvement of soil parameters and environmental protection. It also brings economic benefits in the shape of higher yield. Consequently, the policy of promoting sustainable farming may trigger a series of positive changes in the long run. However, time has not come yet to hail its effectiveness.