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Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
By handing you this Report, we would like to spark off a debate about the model of Polish agricultur in the future. Because it is agriculture, along with the food industry, that constitutes the key sector of our economy. A sector that has undergone an impressive transformation after Poland’s accession into the European Union, becoming a driver of exports. As estimated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the value of Polish food exports is rising steadily and will amount to at least EUR 25 billion at the end of 2015. We are a leading player in this domain and provide an example for the best possible use of agricultural aid.
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Patronage of the President of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski
In the last quarter-century, Polish economy has experienced many changes and transformations. These have also concerned agriculture, which is now significantly different than in the 1990s and at the beginning of the 21st century.
Agriculture is currently the fourth largest sector of economy in Poland, and its contribution to the country’s GDP is much higher than the EU average. Rural areas constitute 93% of Polish territory, and are inhabited by nearly 40% of the population. The agrifood sector is an important component of the country’s economic potential as it accounts for almost 8% of the total gross added value. It also provides employment for nearly 20% of the economically active population. The exports of agrifood products stand for almost 12% of total Polish exports. For a few years now, the sector has been achieving a favourable balance of trade – in 2013, the trade surplus for agrifood products reached the hitherto unseen level of EUR 5.7 billion against EUR 4.3 billion in 2012 (an increase by over 32%).