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How do the Polish government’s extensive support measures bolster the agricultural sector and drive agricultural exports?
In the face of challenging times, the Polish government has stood firmly by its farmers, implementing a range of initiatives to support the agricultural sector. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development highlights the comprehensive measures taken to aid farmers during the past year.
Financial Assistance to Farmers
To address the grain crisis, the government provided substantial financial support. Farmers received a historic subsidy of 3,025 PLN per hectare for wheat sales, equivalent to around 550 PLN per ton.
This support extended to producers of various other grains, including barley, rye, oats, mixed cereals, maize, rapeseed, and winter oilseed rape. The Agency for Restructuring and Modernisation of Agriculture (ARiMR) has disbursed a total of 2.661 billion PLN in grain aid to date.
Innovative Support Measures
Poland stands out in the EU for its fertilizer subsidies, with the government allocating 4.7 billion PLN in 2023, offering 500 PLN per hectare.
Furthermore, the subsidy for agricultural fuel has doubled to 2 PLN per liter, providing farmers with increased savings. Simplified payments for small farms and support for beekeepers have also been introduced.
Promoting Agricultural Exports
These support measures have had a positive impact on agricultural exports, with the value reaching 25.6 billion euros in the last six months, yielding a favorable trade balance of 9.3 billion euros.
Future Plans for Agriculture
The government’s vision for agriculture includes rebuilding domestic processing capacity and empowering Polish farmers to determine product prices. Emphasis is on rejuvenating pig farming and expanding Polish piglet herds.
Access to Agricultural Loans
Farmers can access liquidity loans at a low-interest rate of 2%, designed to enhance their financial stability. Additionally, companies involved in the purchase, storage, or processing of agricultural products can benefit from a 2% purchase loan.
Supporting Local Retail and the ‘Local Shelf’ Program
The government encourages the development of local retail, obliging markets to allocate space for farmers selling their produce. The ‘Local Shelf’ program ensures that at least two-thirds of fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat products, and bread sold in stores originate from local suppliers.
The commitment to Poland’s agricultural sector remains strong, promising a resilient future for the country’s farmers and the continued growth of its agricultural exports.