Geographia Polonica (1989) vol. 57

Some aspects of recent improvements in the productivity of private agriculture in Poland

William B. Morgan

Geographia Polonica (1989) vol. 57, pp. 99-110 | Full text

The present decade has seen a gradual rebuilding of agricultural productivity in Poland after the economic crisis at the end of the 1970s. This improvement has been accompanied by a change of policy with regard to the treatment of the two sectors of production — the socialized or state and cooperative sector and the private or individual farms sector — that is by the introduction of more equal treatment of the two sectors with, at the same time, the confirmation of the private sector as a permanent element of the socialist structure in Poland. It is important to note that the private sector occupies approximately three-quarters of the national farmed area or area in "agricultural uses" — reduced from 79% in 1975 to 74.5% in 1980 and rising again to 76.5% in 1985 (calculated from GUS 1986A, 70). In the new policy the principles of profitability and self-financing in agriculture have been accepted and the abolition of subsidies in the socialized sector has been proposed, together with a new prices policy, intended to improve the relationship between retail prices, product prices and the prices of agricultural resources and services (Olszewski 1985, 89). The aim of the new policy is to achieve national self-sufficiency in food production and increased export of agricultural produce — difficult targets to achieve after the economic difficulties experienced and given the level of food and livestock feed imports which were thought necessary in the 1970s, even at the peak of agricultural productivity.

William B. Morgan, University of London. King's College, London, UK