There are 1 430 000 farms in operation in Poland, each with the size not exceeding 2 ESU. They account for 67.5% of all farms conducting agricultural production and they play significant social and environmental roles. The author analyses the operation of these smallest farms basing on materials provided by a farm census conducted in 2002, economic accounts for agriculture (RER) and information from the Polish Farm Accountancy Data Network (figures from the latter two sources relate to 2004). In conclusions, formulated on the basis of the conducted analysis, the author states that a rise in demand for labour in non-agricultural sectors of the national economy could lead in the course of 10-20 years to the disappearance of the majority of such farms and, consequently, to a threat of environmental degradation of a considerable part of the so-called ecological farmland existing in Poland.
W. Jozwiak, Instytut Ekonomiki Rolnictwa i Gospodarki Zywnosciowej, ul. Swietokrzyska 20, 00-002 Warszawa, Poland
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