Agro-Tech agricultural-industrial fair opens in northern Poland

2019-06-29 16:53 update: 2019-07-03, 12:29
Photo PAP/Tytus Żmijewski
Photo PAP/Tytus Żmijewski
The two-day Agro-Tech International Agri-Industrial Fair opened on Saturday at the Agricultural Advisory Centre in Minikowo, Kujawsko-Pomorskie province. It groups several hundred exhibitors and last year attracted over 30,000 visitors.

Exhibitors at the fair present livestock as well as agricultural machinery and equipment. The event features competitions and conferences and attracts great interest every year.

Speaking at the fair's inauguration, Polish President Andrzej Duda said that the state promotes family-based agricultural holdings because of the importance of sustainability in modern agriculture. 

"We often say that our agriculture (...) has developed as modern agriculture. One has to answer the question what modern agriculture, modern agricultural production, modern food production means today and in the future. I am convinced of one thing: modern does not mean mass," Duda said.

The president also added that modern agriculture should be equated with "healthy, wholesome food that is good for people." 

The president went on to highlight Poland's role in the EU. He said that, although it was hard to believe, according to official data, 1,000 agricultural holdings are liquidated daily in the EU as large estates take over. "There are ever fewer of them," he said. "In that respect we are moving forward into the absolute lead, in which family farming exists and is in good shape and our task is to support it so that it will do even better."

Duda also promised to fight for equal treatment in the EU for Polish farmers. "Our goal is to win payments to at least the EU average," he said. "There is absolutely no reason why a Polish farmer should be treated in a worse way than in other EU countries."

Agriculture Minister Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski, also present at the event, said the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party's policy would strive to meet the expectations of farmers as much as possible, adding that although farming has its problems, it is coping ever better in international competition. 

"Agriculture in Poland is very complex," Ardanowski said, "Somebody would be lying if they said agriculture didn't have problems." He pointed, however, to the success of exports. "About EUR 30 billion last year. This year the trend is very good, there will surely be even bigger exports. We're looking for new markets, we're competing with those against whom we once lost the competition." (PAP)