The last 150 years were characterized by a relatively fast growth of agricultural production, which ensured conditions for feeding - to an ever more adequate extent, the world's increasing population. Nonetheless, the phenomenon of hunger and inadequate nutrition still affects about one-seventh of the globe's population. It is generally believed that this phenomenon is attributable to poverty and not to the inability to produce the sufficient quantity of agricultural products as suggested by the permanent oversupply on the food markets which has been the reason for a more than 120-year long trend towards the relative decline in the prices of agricultural products. Currently, symptoms of change in this respect become observable. On the one hand, the demand for agricultural products grows fast and, on the other hand, essential supply limitations surface that are connected chiefly with intensifying environmental barriers and indispensable technological changes. These changes find reflection in the global agricultural trade and in the agricultural economics. This creates new chances for Polish agriculture through the utilisation of its considerable potential. The phenomena, described as globalisation, which strengthen these chances also lead to the emergence of some threats. Both the former and the latter have an essential meaning for Polish agriculture and should not be neglected by the architects of Polish agricultural policy.
J. S. Zegar, Instytut Ekonomiki Rolnictwa i Gospodarki Zywnosciowej, ul. Swietokrzyska 20, 00-002 Warszawa, Poland
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