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%).
Over the last years, there has been a rise in the number of modern farms, which make use of innovative production technologies. It should also be noted that approximately 1.5 million of farms benefit from subsidies for agricultural production, which has are markable impact on its growth. Macroeconomic analyses show that Polish agriculture, along with the food processing sector, will be able to make a good use of the opportunities that have emerged as a result of opening the large and affluent EU food market. It will also be able to cater for the considerable absorptive power of the eastern markets, where Polish argifood products already enjoy a good reputation and strong interest among consumers.
The aim of this report is to present Polish agriculture in objective light, as a sector of economy ensuring the food security of Poland, but also influencing the food security of other European countries. In addition, we want to challenge the unfavourable stereotype dominating the current public debate in Poland, whereby agriculture is an underdeveloped sector of the economy, unworthy of investment. In the report, we intend to present Polish agriculture as one of the key branches of economy, which is growing very dynamically and
brings measurable benefits to the society.
The report was prepared with the objective of inspiring reflection and public debate about the model of operation of Polish agriculture. We hope that our work will provoke a discussion. Moreover, we trust that its participants will not only take a stance on our theses and conclusions, but also come up with additional, specific solutions promoting the development of this highly important sector of Polish economy.