Poland, brief agricultural news week 27, 2019
What happened in Poland last week? A brief overview of agricultural news.
Raspberries production and trade in 2018
According to the Polish Central Statistical Office (GUS), the amount of raspberry production in Poland in 2018 amounted to approximately 115.6 thousand tones, which meant an increase of 10.7% compared to 2017. The area of raspberry cultivation in Poland is over 29 thousand ha. In 2018, the volume of export of fresh raspberries amounted to 11.1 thousand tones, which compared to 2017 was higher by 2.8%. The recipient countries of fresh raspberries were almost exclusively EU countries, the largest of them were: Germany (53%), the Netherlands (20%), Belgium (10%), Austria (7.9%) and Italy (2.1%). The export volume of the frozen raspberries was even higher in 2018, it amounted to 48.8 thousand tones, of which over 90% was export to EU countries. The main recipients of frozen raspberries in 2018 were: Germany (35%), Belgium (12%), the Netherlands (11%), France (8.3%), the United Kingdom (7.6%), Sweden (6.1 %) and Denmark (3.3%).
Regarding imports, in 2018 the volume of import of fresh raspberries to Poland amounted to only 1.8 thousand tones, meaning it decreased by 17% in comparison to 2017. More than half of import came from non-EU countries. From EU countries, the most of fresh raspberries were from the Netherlands, Spain and Germany. The import of frozen raspberries is much higher, the volume in 2018 amounted to 15.5 thousand tones, of which almost 90% were from non-EU countries.
Only one in eight farmers buys an insurance policy
Although climate change results in droughts, storms and hailstorms, which increase the risk of losses, it does not encourage Polish farmers to insure their farms. Insurance policies are too expensive and not suited to their needs. Currently only 12 percent of the owners of farms in Poland have insurance policies for agricultural crops and livestock. Only 30% of the cultivation area in Poland is covered with insurance. Farmers who do not have large financial resources, calculate the risk of not being insured. They feel safe because of the state aid, to which Poles have become accustomed. The Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski, supports farmers in this belief. If flooding, hailstorms or drought occur, local governments or farmers contact voivodes (regional authorities), there committees are appointed to estimate losses and the state provides assistance. After the drought in 2018 the government provided farmers with help which amounted into over PLN 2.2 billion. It has been the largest historical drought aid granted in Poland and in the European Union. Polish farmers want clear and transparent rules in insurance policies, they want policies suited to the problems they face, which are drought, frost or hail. The Insurance companies do not want to insure the drought, because it is unprofitable, the risk of its occurrence is enormous, and if it appears, it occurs on such a scale that they will not be able to pay compensations. The insurance policies would have to be very expensive and those cannot be afforded by the farmers.
Tax on large retailers to be reinstated from September 1
Poland's contested 'big box' retail tax may be reintroduced on large retailers' revenues from September 1, 2019, the Prime Minister's Office announced on its website on Tuesday. The move follows a ruling in Poland's favor from the General Court of the EU. The tax was originally introduced in September 2016, but was suspended due to legal action by the European Commission, which considered the law a form of state aid. The tax applies two rates: 0.8 percent on monthly turnover above PLN 17 million (EUR 4 million) and 1.4 percent on monthly turnover above PLN 170 million (EUR 40 million). On May 16, the General Court of the European Union ruled that Poland could tax large retailers more than smaller ones.
Fund for promotion of oil plants
A fund for the promotion of oil plants will be created in Poland. The fund will support the consumption and promotion of oil seeds, processed products such a rape, soy flax and beekeeping products. The fund will be filled with a levy of approximately 3 PLN per tonne, resulting in an average yearly inflow of approximately 8 mln PLN. Money from the fund will be availbale for representatives of industry organisations representing agricultural producers and processors operating in the oilseed sector. The fund can also be used for the socalled own contribution in the EU promotional programs. Currently in Poland, 9 promotion funds have been created in Poland, dedicated to milk, pork, beef, horsemeat, sheepmeat, grains & cereal products, fruit & vegetables, poultry meat and fish.
Special liming programme for soils
Poland is implementing a special programme for soils’ liming. Polish soils have high level of acidification so liming as a practice will improve soil conditions and quality. The programme will be implemented in the period of 2019-2023 with a budget of more than 300 M PLN, funded from the national funds. The aid is targeted at farmers with agricultural holdings of up to 75 ha (soil pH below or equal to 5.5). Subsidies to buy lime will depend on the size of the farm and the amount of co-financing will be respectively:
• up to PLN 300 / t of pure deacidification component (CaO and CaO + MgO) for farms with an area not exceeding 25 ha of agricultural land,
• up to PLN 200 / t of pure deacidification component (CaO and CaO + MgO) for farms with an area of over 25 ha, but not exceeding 50 ha of agricultural land,
• up to PLN 100 / t of pure deacidification component (CaO and CaO + MgO) for farms with an area of over 50 ha, but not exceeding 75 ha of agricultural land.
Another important issue is that a soil test should be carried out once every 4 years and the sample should be taken from the surface of no more than 4 ha. Co-financing of liming (lime fertilizer or lime agent) for a given parcel of land will be granted no more than once every four years. The programme is a joint work of two Ministries, the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Environment in Poland.
Source: website of the Ministry of Environment
Agro-Tech, Agricultural Exhibition in Northern Poland
Last week, on Saturday and Sunday June 29-30, the Agro-Tech International Agri-Industrial Fair took place at the Agricultural Advisory Centre in Minikowo, Kujawsko-Pomorskie province. It groups several hundreds of exhibitors and attracted over 30,000 visitors, amongst then Polish President Andrzej Duda and agricultural Minister Jan Krsyzstof Ardanowski. Exhibitors at the fair presented livestock as well as agricultural machinery and equipment. The event features competitions and conferences and attracts great interest every year.