Świętokrzyskie – changes for the better
Skillful use of EU funds involves both targeting them well and using the money in the best period of time. Świętokrzyskie voivodeship is one of the regions which have experienced intensive changes in agricultural production in the past decade of Polish membership in the European Union.
Świętokrzyskie covers an area of 1.17 million hectares (15th largest in the country), and half of this land is used for agriculture. Small farms dominate, especially those measuring 1-5 hectares (almost 60% of all farms). Good soil, present in the South-West part of the region in particular, have provided agriculture with better conditions for development than in the case of other industries. Although in comparison with other voivodeships Świętokrzyskie does not emerge as the leader in agricultural production (smaller yields, lower consumption of fertilizers), it serves as a paragon of discipline in the use of EU funds.
Money well spent
By the end of April 2014, the voivodeship spent as much as 92% of funds allocated via Rural Development Programme (RDP). 80% of the money reached the beneficiaries of particular projects directly! In Świętokrzyskie, one of the most important investments in the last EU financing framework was the development of water supply and distribution network in rural areas. 93% of towns and villages now enjoy such facilities. The statistics prove that much effort has been made to implement the EU policy of sustainable development, as before RDP financing only 30-40% of communities in the region had modern water supply systems.