This is the end of a certain process that has been taking place over the last few years – said former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Janusz Piechociński in the “Wzostasz i weekend” program on TVN24, referring to the farmers’ protests. He pointed out that “a large demographic change is taking place” in agriculture, and farm owners have to struggle with huge problems with profitability.
Farmers from all over Poland left on Friday to protest their dissatisfaction with their situation. protests in many places are expected to last for 30 days. The decision on the protest action was made by, among others, management board of NSZZ Solidarność Rolników Indywidualnych. The reason for the protest is, among others, the recent decision of the European Commission to extend duty-free trade with Ukraine until 2025.
Protesting farmers also oppose the introduction of the EU Green Deal and the inflow of goods from Ukraine. Farmers are also protesting against some of the solutions included in the Green Deal, including: in Romania, France and Belgium.
Piechociński: protests are the consequences of many farmers’ problems
On TVN24, Janusz Piechociński said that farmers taking to the streets is “the end of a certain process that has been taking place over the last few years.” – It was intensified by sanctions and the consequences of the war in Ukraine. And today we are facing great uncertainty when it comes to the export of Polish and European products to Asia, due to the fact that container ships and ships sail around Africa, which takes 10 to 20 days longer, which increases costs – he explained.
The former Minister of Economy also spoke about the EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski. – A few years ago, I warned us not to appoint a commissioner for agriculture in the European Union. But why? Because this Polish commissioner will not be able to play along with France on the wing of the agricultural lobby and thus advance a positive compromise tailored to the needs of the entire EU, he said.
Piechociński also talked about the causes of problems in Polish agriculture. – What happened in connection with the war in Ukraine only detonated and accelerated this process. What was this caused by? The fact that Polish agriculture is undergoing significant demographic change, our agriculture is also aging, many farms have no successors, he said. He pointed out that “many candidates to continue working in agriculture”, given the lack of profitability, give up.
He stated that the last three years “dramatically collapsed the profitability of agriculture in Poland.” – Experts hired by the Wielkopolska Chamber of Agriculture calculated that last year only sugar beet producers had some profit, and there was a decline in all other areas – he said.
Main photo source: TVN24