Polish farming today

| Polish Market |

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.

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Świętokrzyskie – changes for the better

| Polish Market |

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.

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Challenges for Europe and Central Asia

| Foreign Markets |

A regional conference organized by FAO was held in Bucharest in the first week of April. One of the main conclusions following the experts’ meeting is as follows: it is not hunger, but malnutrition resulting from micronutrient deficiency and low calorie value of meals that is the most important problem for Europe and Central Asia.

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Lubuskie – agriculture near the border

| Polish Market |

Lubuskie is inhabited by the smallest population out of all 16 Polish voivodeships. The region is distinguished by the fact that as much as 51% of its territory is covered with forests, which means that the quality of soil is poor. However, the activity of local farmers is becoming more and more successful and profitable.

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Transformation of EU countryside

| Foreign Markets |

In October 2013 the European Commission published a brief report about the most prominent changes in the rural areas in EU countries. It was based on data collected between 2005 and 2010. Let us take a look at the figures showing the extent of the transformations.

Fewer farms, bigger farms

The continuing fall of the number of farms is an important trend. Their overall number is diminishing despite the fact that new countries join the EU. There are now 12 million farms in all EU countries. Their acreage grew by 3.8% in comparison with the figure from 2005. The average size of farmland in every agricultural unit is 14.3 hectares, which is not little, unless we compare this European average to the standard farm in the USA, Argentina, and of course Australia. The acreage of farmed arable land decreased, but only slightly – from 172 million hectares in 2005 to 171.6 million hectares in 2010, ensuring reliable food supply for the inhabitants of Europe.

Transformation of EU countryside/fot. photpin.comDiscrepancies in farm acreages

Rural areas in the EU are characterized by small size of farms. One reason for this is the procedure of inheriting land and subdivisions of farms between numerous heirs. 69% of EU farms now fall below 5 hectares, while only 2.7% measure 100 hectares or more. However, the former group makes up as little as 7% of farmland, while the latter type, the largest farms, constitute as much as 50% of all EU arable land. It is worth mentioning here that the mean output of an agricultural enterprise rose by 5.2% in the 5 years analyzed and, reached 25,500 EUR in 2010.

Meanwhile in Poland

Over 3 million Polish citizens own farmland, but only c. 200,000 farmers have at least 15 hectares, or enough to run a profitable agricultural enterprise. Although the average size is only 9.5 hectares, it is almost twice as big as the figure from 2002 – 5 hectares. This resulted from the fall of the number of farms. Similar trend may be observed in the whole EU. Most farms (c. 96%) are small or medium in size, but the farmers who may boast about the largest acreages (15 to 100 hectares) take over more and more land, now owning 37% of the whole farmland in Poland.

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Changes in French agriculture

| Foreign Markets |

French President François Hollande is making over the agricultural policy of the French government and is keen on directing the bulk of subsidies to smaller farms. A number of groups, in particular the big agricultural producers, are opposed to the reform, though.

Big ones can do more

A major part of Common Agricultural Policy resources for the development of French farming has been reaching farms with the largest acreage. The number of farms in France has been falling since the 1950′, from 2.3 million in 1955 to fewer than 500,000 at the beginning of 2013. Among the factors such transformation results from is the growth of the number of big operators in agricultural business. By increasing the acreage of farmland, they have placed France in the top five of biggest producers of cereals in the world.

Changes in French agriculture/fot. photopin.comFertilizers do their job

Declarations concerning a reshuffle of agricultural subsidies policy were met with disapproval of many groups, including the largest French Association of Agricultural Producers – FNSEA. This is far from surprising, seeing that large enterprises constitute the driving force of French farming. The nation’s supremacy in Europe is clear with France having the largest acreage of cultivated land in European Union countries (over 15 million hectares), and the highest consumption of nitrogen fertilizers in EU (at 22%). The industry consumes 2.1 million tonnes of pure nitrogen per year, which makes French farming much more efficient.

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