ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DETERMINANTS AND POSSIBILITIES OF A MULTIFUNCTIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF RURAL AREAS IN POLAND
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Diversification and multifunctional development are currently trendy definitions, which signify an unprecedented widening of the range of economic activities carried out in rural areas. Although farming still remains the rural economy's principal segment, the diminishing role of income obtained from agriculture and the decreasing number of jobs that it can offer to the rural population makes one pay greater attention to the creation of various non-agricultural or agriculture-related functions of rural areas. Multifunctional development is not a new phenomenon, but in the present situation of the Polish rural community the pace of such development will certainly become faster. Currently, only 8% of the population active in agriculture earns its income from farming exclusively, which increases pressure towards the search for non-agricultural sources of income. Thus, the reorientation in the principles of development of rural areas towards multifunctionality is becoming an urgent necessity. The process of Poland's integration with EU creates a great chance for the Polish rural community to enter the path of fast development. Neither the Polish government nor the Polish rural community are able to generate means as large as the structural funds offered Poland by the European Union.
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