Poland: agricultural news week 4

'In Poland, we like carrots'

Carrots are one of the most important vegetables grown in Poland. The popularity is due to versatile use, taste, and health benefits. In Poland, carrots are used by the processing industry to produce juices and frozen foods and for direct consumption as an ingredient of many dishes and soups.

Carrot cultivation in Poland is on the area of about 22 000 hectares, which gives it the second place, after onions, in terms of the area of ​​field vegetables cultivation in Poland. Since carrot is a plant of a temperate climate, it is grown throughout the country, but most (70%) of the crops are in six voivodeships: Mazowieckie, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Lubelskie, Wielkopolskie, Łódzkie and Świętokrzyskie.

In 2020, 733 thousand tons of carrots were harvested (678 thousand tons of carrots in 2019), which puts Poland in the third position in the EU with 12% share of the EU carrots production according to the National Center for Agricultural Support.

The carrot harvest in Poland depends largely on the agrometeorological conditions prevailing during the growing season. In 2015-2020, the harvest of carrots in the country was varied and amounted to 678 - 827 thousand tons. In 2020, according to the estimates of the Central Statistical Office, 8 % more carrots have been harvested than in 2019.

In 2015-2019, the volume of Polish carrot exports ranged from 23 thousand tons up to 33 thousand tons. In the period of eleven months of 2020, as in the previous year, Polish entrepreneurs sold about 20 thousand tons of carrots. Carrots were exported almost entirely to the EU countries, mainly to the Slovak market (31% of the export volume), the Czech Republic (20%) and Romania (14%).

Problems for vegetable farmers
Closed HoReCa markets means problems for vege farmers
The closure of hotels and gastronomy in Poland related to the pandemic made producers of vegetables, especially onions and potatoes, despair, as they have no markets to sell their products. The Ministry of Agriculture is not planning any aid for this group of farmers.

The coronavirus pandemic has shut down the HoReCa industry. Thus, the demand for vegetables from this sector has dropped to zero. Therefore, an oversupply of these products arose on the market, which resulted in a drastic prices drop. Today, the farmer receives only PLN 0.2 for potatoes, and a maximum of PLN 0.3 for loose onions. Such rates do not even cover all production costs. Producers of onions and potatoes suffer the most, but also red beet and carrots, because prices have dropped drastically. The situation is also difficult at all fruit and vegetable markets in Poland. For example in Wrocław, where farmers could not sell three tons of potatoes for a week.

Photo source: Dreamstime.com

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