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Farming in Poland

a tethered dairy cow

Poland is very much a country grounded in agriculture and forestry. More than sixty percent of Poland's total area is taken up by farming. The most important crops are grains, of which the highest yields came from rye, wheat, barley, and oats. Other major crops are potatoes, sugar beets, fodder crops, flax, hops, tobacco, and fruits. In most areas, soil and climatic conditions favour a mixed type of farming. Farms all over Poland raise dairy cows, beef cattle, pigs, poultry, and cultivate fruit. Often on a very small scale on each farm. Poland is currently the largest producer of potatoes and rye in Europe and and is one of the world's largest producers of sugarbeet.

Agriculture employs almost one third of the total Polish work force but contributes less than 4% to the gross domestic product (GDP). Productivity is on the whole not high. There are over 2 million private farms in Poland. Most of which are small - 8 hectares (ha) on average. These farms are often made up of seperate pieces of land spead over some area. Over half of all farming households in Poland produce only for their own needs with little, if any, commercial sales. As a result traditional, family-based small farm are under threat as the younger generation drift from the countryside toward the cities. 

As a response to this many smaller farmers have begun to diversify in order to make small scale farming more viable. One growing trend is to take in guests to supplement farming income. These paying guests are usually accommodated in the farm house itself or in  seperate accommodation on the farm. If you're interested in seeing some of Poland and have a love for the countryside an interesting alternative to hotels might be a farmstay. You'll be doing your bit to help Polish agriculture and getting a real insight into the culture of Poland! 

Related Link: Farm Stay Poland

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