Most Polish farmers have good to satisfactory expectations for the business development in the coming 12 months. However, Polish pig farmers show a heterogeneous picture. While over one-third of them evaluate their prospects as good, 25 percent only considers them to be satisfactory. An important factor for business expectations is the development of outbreaks of the African swine fever (ASF). Affected farmers must expect restrictions, while pig farmers who are not affected will benefit from the resulting gaps in supply. Farmers who are not affected by the ASF benefit from exports to Germany, which have increased by ten percent since 2017.
The expectations of Polish farmers for business development are stable overall. For example, despite ASF, pig exports are on the rise and cash crop producers not affected by the drought expect increases in turnover due to higher grain prices.
As in the previous year, those surveyed see exports of agricultural products and low interest rates on the capital market as the key drivers behind business development in Polish agriculture. The country has been a net exporter of agricultural products for many years. As the domestic demand is growing more slowly than agricultural production, exporting of agricultural products represents an important economic cornerstone for Polish agriculture. Here approximately 80 percent of commodity exports flow into the EU market. And the current phase of low interest rates, which can be used by farmers to tackle urgently needed investments, are also favourable for farmers.
As already mentioned the previous year, 50 percent of those surveyed named agricultural policy as the greatest obstacle to a positive economic development. In their negative estimation, stricter environmental requirements will follow which, in the opinion of farmers, can only be met with additional costs. Farmers also perceive measures for more animal welfare as a burden. The further pork and grain prices, which are too low from the standpoint of farmers, are viewed critically. Although grain prices have increased as a result of the drought, Polish farmers appeal for a rapid expansion of the fibre-optic network in order to use the advantages of digitalisation for their farming operations.