European Forum of Agriculture in Jasionka

Saturday, 24 March 2018 r.

The Common Agricultural Policy after 2020 was the main theme of the European Forum of Agriculture, which was held in Jasionka near Rzeszow for the last two days. Minister Krzysztof Jurgiel participated in this event.

Photo. The discussion at the Forum in Jasionka

Photo. The discussion at the Forum in Jasionka

On the first day of deliberations, Minister Jurgiel – together with the European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan and the ministers of agriculture from France, the Czech Republic and Hungary – discussed the possibility of the equalisation of the direct subsidies for farmers from the EU countries.

The Polish Minister reminded that the decisions concerning the future of CAP would be taken in May of this year within the European Council. He also underlined that there must be no discrimination in the united Europe.

- We are going to face a difficult period but nothing has yet been closed. The case of the subsidies is still open. The transition period is over and Polish farmers should receive equal subsidies – the head of the Polish Ministry of Agriculture said. He also pointed out that Polish farmers have proved a long time ago that they are able to cope with the changing conditions. Nevertheless, they cannot forever be disadvantaged compared to farmers from the “old” Member States of the EU. Therefore they should have the same conditions for support.

According to the opinion of Minister Jurgiel, the European Forum of Agriculture in Jasionka was a good location to submit the proposal of Poland to the ministers of agriculture and representatives of the European Commission as well as experts.

- In my opinion, the appropriate level of the budget devoted to the implementation of CAP and the equal conditions of competition on the European market are of highest importance. We also have to remember that we are discussing the financial perspective which will be in force after the British exit from the European Union – Minister Jurgiel reminded.

Commissioner Hogan underlined that the EU’s budget, and thus CAP, will be influenced by Brexit.

- The British exit will be followed by a deficit in the budget amounting to €12 billion, we have to gain this money in some way, we will know more on 2nd May – Commissioner Hogan informed and added that some of the Member States accept higher amounts of contributions. If this is the case, the CAP budget will not be decreased.

The Commissioner assured that he is the supporter of convergence, CAP must be well-funded and farmers must be financially secure. According to Commissioner Hogan, the support within this policy should be available not only for farmers but also for the rural development. According to the Commissioner, precision agriculture, digital farming should be thought about.

- The increase in the profitability of production will be the most important issue for Poland in the new CAP. Our priorities are also: the stabilisation on agricultural markets, competitiveness of products and the innovative character – Minister Krzysztof Jurgiel said.

The ministers who participated in the discussion also emphasized that, when establishing the new EU’s budget, competitiveness, food security, the quality of life as well as the simplification of CAP should be taken into consideration.

On the second day of the Forum, deliberations on the topics related to the challenges and opportunities for the European agriculture were conducted. New technologies, biogas, nitrogen and artificial intelligence were discussed.

A series of meetings began with a panel discussion on new technologies and innovative solutions in agriculture as well as their role in the improvement of the quality and the reduction of production costs. Ryszard Zarucki, the Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, who participated in this discussion, stressed that, in the current financial perspective of the EU, the innovations in agriculture are one of the priorities of the Polish Government.

- Within the framework of Rural Development Programme, a lot of funds are devoted to the transfer of knowledge and technology as well as to the improvement of the competitiveness of the agricultural activity – Deputy Minister Zarudzki said and pointed out that the RDP’s budget amounts to almost PLN 60 billion and that the Ministry of Agriculture strives to allocate a significant paart of these funds to innovations.

- The transfer of new technologies to medium-sized and small households is a way to reduce the costs of production and to stabilise income – Deputy Minister Zarudzki emphasized while delivering his speech.

Jerzy Plewa, the Director-General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission, who participated in the panel, noted that money for the innovations in agriculture are not assigned to countries, and that the amount of the subsidies that a given country is going to receive depends on the activeness of individual research centres.

European Forum of Agriculture, which is organised by the European Fund for the Development of Polish Rural Area, traditionally was a place where the representatives of Polish and European policy, industry organisations, experts and researchers met and discussed, as well as the place of the exchange of experiences of manufacturers and suppliers of innovative solutions for agriculture. A new organization formula, which has been proposed this year, created better conditions for this.