Polish Agriculture: Organisational Structure and Impacts of Transition
Agriculture represents an important political and economic issue in the stage of the EU enlargement. This is especially true for Poland, since it has the largest agricultural sector. The paper outlines the changes of agricultural policies and their impacts on the organisational structure. Further, it examines how the credit, land and tax policies, as well as exports, rural development and social measures and the existence of cooperatives affect the sector's performance. The article concludes that despite positive changes achieved in Polish agriculture, there are still problems, which can act as an obstacle for EU membership. Most of current problems stem from the lack of reforms to change the unviable small-scale farming structure that is responsible for depressed competition. Furthermore, due to the special treatment of private farmers, there is an overabundance of labour, especially of part-time farmers. This is the reason why results of the overall performance of the sector are low. Unless structural change is taking place, and well- tailored agricultural policies are in place, Polish agricultural sector will continue to suffer from its depressed competitiveness. Attempts at agricultural reform must be addressed from a broad socio-economic perspective and must include structural transformation with prospects of alternative employment.
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