Many farmers expect quick solutions, solutions that will help them survive until and after harvest, as well as systemic solutions, said the president of the National Council of Agricultural Chambers, Wiktor Szmulewicz, on Friday. Together with the presidents of the Provincial Chambers of Agriculture, they handed over a letter with demands to the Prime Minister. – The obligation to introduce customs duties on goods imported from Ukraine, agricultural and processed raw materials should return to the state before June 1, 2022 – stressed Szmulewicz.
On Friday, the president of the National Council of Agricultural Chambers together with the presidents of the Provincial Chambers of Agriculture handed over to the Prime Minister the demands of the agricultural self-government “to be urgently implemented”.
The President of the National Council of Agricultural Chambers, Wiktor Szmulewicz, thanked “all my colleagues who are on strike today and highlighted this huge problem” at a press conference in front of the KRPM. – It is thanks to them that there is so much interest from everyone and everyone feels the need to solve the problem – he added. – Today, it can even be called a small peasant uprising, because farmers, peasants today, when they go out on the roads, worry about two things: about the existence of their farms, but also about the future and fate of the country – he said.
He emphasized that war in Ukraine changed the situation dramatically. – The abolition of customs duties meant that a huge amount of food entered the Polish market, first in the form of grain, today other raw materials, including processed ones, are also beginning to flow in – said Szmulewicz.
– Today, many farmers expect quick solutions that will help them survive until and after harvest, as well as systemic solutions – he noted.
As the president of the National Council of Agricultural Chambers said, “the obligation to introduce customs duties on goods imported from Ukraineagricultural and processed raw materials should return to the state from before June 1, 2022.” He added that the presidents of the Provincial Chambers of Agriculture are in favor of a solution according to which “20 percent of the duty remains in the country where the goods arrived and 80 percent as aid humanitarian, military and other, returns to Ukraine.
– Today, the most important economic and political decision that needs to be taken with the help of the EU is the construction of a large transshipment port in Poland on the Baltic Sea. The best place is Gdańsk – he said.
President of the Pomeranian Chamber of Agriculture: There are about one hundred thousand tons of grain in the ports of Gdańsk
– From today, from midnight, the transit of cereals through our country has been launched. But if this transit goes to our ports today, it will not relieve the situation in our farms and warehouses, because grain and Ukrainian products will compete with our products – said Wiesław Burzyński, president of the Pomeranian Chamber of Agriculture.
– Yes, we are in favor of transit through our country, but only by road to our western or southern borders, so that we can empty our ports in Gdańsk – he added.
– I received information when leaving for you today that there are currently about one hundred thousand tons of various types of cereals in our ports in Gdansk, waiting to be exported from our country – he said.
Postulates of the presidents of the Provincial Chambers of Agriculture
In a letter submitted to the head of government, the presidents of the Provincial Chambers of Agriculture indicate that, among other things, it is necessary to: “include Ukrainian agri-food products as sensitive products that cross the border and enter Poland with the SENT system by the National Revenue Administration, i.e. full monitoring”, “disclose all companies that buy grain and rape from Ukraine, and use the so-called technical grain for its intended purpose; if it was sold for consumption, apply severe penalties to sellers and buyers.
The presidents of the Provincial Chambers of Agriculture call for “introducing high penalties for dishonest domestic entities buying Ukrainian grain, so that the transit is actually a transit”; “introduce continuous and full phytosanitary tests, pesticide residues, mycotoxins and veterinary tests of agri-food products that affect the territory of Poland”.
As we read, “ports in Poland should be secured for the export of surplus Polish grain from warehouses – the transit of Ukrainian agri-food products should take place by land”. “Transit should be carried out in a way that does not block the possibility of selling Polish grain” – added.
The presidents of the Provincial Chambers of Agriculture also want, among other things, to secure “funds from the EU budget and the national budget in the amount of at least PLN 10 billion for compensation for farms producing cereals (also for fodder purposes), rape, soft fruit, orchard and vegetable production”.
According to the authors of the letter, “purchase of grain from Polish farmers through Holding Polska Grupa Spożywcza should also be introduced as a matter of urgency”. Holding Polska Grupa Spożywcza should build new elevators to accept grain from producers who do not have warehouses, we read.
“In order to protect farmers from the crisis in the long term, it is urgent to start the construction of a grain port (e.g. in the Europort in Gdańsk) with high capacity, with railway infrastructure – instead of investing in the construction of the Central Airport, which will certainly consume significant funds” – think the presidents of the Voivodeship Chambers of Agriculture.
They added that “for this purpose, budget funds from the STH should be redirected to the construction of a grain port.” “Such an investment will give Polish farmers a chance to sell their grain at a competitive price, which in turn will contribute to the development and survival of Polish agriculture and improve the country’s economic situation. The need to build a port results from the fact that until the war Russia on the territory of Ukraine, the transport of grain from the west of Ukraine was carried out through the sea port of Klaipeda by Belarus. By building a port in Poland, it is possible to create a new export route for Ukrainian grain to Africa, which will be a development opportunity for Poland.
Transit of agricultural goods from Ukraine
On Friday, around 2 a.m., the Regulation of the Minister of Development and Technology on the ban on imports of agricultural products from Ukraine was published in the Journal of Laws. The regulation makes it possible transit of agricultural goods from Ukraine through Polish territory. The regulation enters into force on the day of its announcement, i.e. from Friday, April 21, and is to remain in force until June 30.
Transports will be electronically sealed and tracked via GPS. They will also be escorted in the first week. Ukrainian agricultural products cannot reach the Polish market, because the import ban is still in force. They must go to a port in Poland or leave for another European Union country.