Poland: launch of project on Soil Improvement

On November 11, the Partners International Business 'Soil Improvement Poland' (shortly, PIB) was signed. A PIB is a 1-3 year public private partnership of a group of Dutch companies who are, with the support of the Dutch government (RVO and the Embassy) jointly positioning themselves on the market. In Poland, the soil quality is among the lowest in the EU and with the knowledge and techniques of the Dutch companies this can be improved. Because soil is the basis for a sustainable agriculture!

Polish soil characteristics and quality

Soil quality in Poland is among the lowest in Europe. The production potential of an average hectare of arable land in Poland is equivalent to 0.6 hectare in European Union countries. More details about the characteristics and quality of the soil and the agricultural sector in general can be found in the booklet "Agriculture in Poland. Soil characteristics and quality". It was developed during the initial stages of the project to give insight to the Dutch stakeholders on the current situation in Poland. You can download the booklet here.

Aim of the PIB Soil Improvement Poland

The aim of the PIB is to improve the soil quality in Poland with Dutch high-quality and technological solutions and increase the knowledge about soil management. This is very relevant in Poland, where soils are mostly sandy with a low organic matter and where there are increasing periods of droughts besides severe rain. Healthy soils are the basis for a sustainable agriculture and with the increase in organic matter also the water holding capacity of the soils will increase.

The mission of the PIB cluster is to gain better access to the Polish market through cooperation with partners in Poland. This concerns a market share in the broad applications for soil improvement, which also includes knowledge sharing through cooperation with Polish partners. This includes cooperation with knowledge institutes and farms to showcase the technologies of the Netherlands, with a focus on high value crops such as potatoes and vegetables. The overall objective of the PIB is to make the Dutch soil improvement sector leading on proven solutions by being a trusted partner that brings and co-creates innovative solutions to the market.

First year of the PIB

In the first year of the Partners International Business Soil Improvement Poland the focus will be on the following activities:

  • Exchange of Dutch best practices during incoming / outgoing trade missions / trade fairs.
  • Further insights in the existing knowledge gaps in Poland about improving soil quality. With these insights a knowledge module can be further developed, for example by extending the already created online knowledge module in the intitial stage.
  • Work on the set-up of trial fields (potato and vegetables) where tests can be carried out with Dutch techniques & solutions. This is including the creation of a management zone of differing yield potential for management decisions.
  • Further expand our network in Poland by connecting to relevant stakeholders, including knowledge institutes, agricultural organizations and farmers.

Coordinator and companies

Coordinator of the PIB Soil Improvement Poland on behalf of the private sector is Freerk Faber (WTC Twente). For companies who are interested to join as well or would like to have more information, you can contact coordinator Freerk Faber on f.faber@wtctwente.eu

The following six companies are participants in the PIB:

Initial starting point "Improving Soil Quality Poland"

In 2019, the office of the Agricultural Counsellor at the Embassy in Warsaw, initiated together with the Dutch Centre for Manure Valorization (NCM) a first small-scale project on the topic of soil quality. The aim of the project was to:

  • increase the level of knowledge about soil management and the organic matter in the soil.
  • identify the interest on both Dutch and Polish side to start a longer term project, a so called Partner International Business (PIB).

You can read more about the initial project in the following links:

More general information about a Partners International Business, an instrument of the Dutch government, can be found here