Academic journal article Economics & Sociology

Changes in the Socioeconomic Characteristics of Persons Employed in the Polish Agriculture under the Conditions of Growing Competition

Academic journal article Economics & Sociology

Changes in the Socioeconomic Characteristics of Persons Employed in the Polish Agriculture under the Conditions of Growing Competition

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT. The Polish agriculture is still characterised by considerable structural fragmentation. Activation of the desired transformation is more and more often connected to the quality of human capital. The characteristics of persons working on a farm not only condition the achievement of a competitive advantage, but also the possibility to increase the level of their non-agricultural activity. These circumstances precondition the proeffective reconstruction of the production structures of the Polish agriculture. Ipso facto the aim of this paper is to show that the changes in the group of people employed in family farming permanently at a full-time level imply the chances of agricultural structures improvement. At the same time, the characteristics of persons who are unused labour resource potential make their inter-sectoral mobility more probable. The paper uses mainly the results of IAFE-NRI's research carried out on a sample of ca. 0.2% of the actual number of individual farms. On the basis thereof it was stated that the rise in competition has contributed to the processes of work professionalization in the Polish agriculture. Despite some signs of aging of the family labour force it may still be considered relatively young. The level of schooling improved both for persons permanently employed on a full-time basis, as well as persons considered as redundant on a farm. This will most likely act in favour of modernisation processes in agriculture, diversification of economic activity and outflow of people from agriculture.

JEL Classification: J19, J24, J43

Keywords: persons working on family farm: permanently at a full-time level and seasonal, demographic structure, level of general and professional education, farm redundant labour force.


At present, intangible factors of economic development are becoming increasingly important. These trends are visible also in agriculture where technological development changes the proportions of the use of production factors, such as land, capital, labour and management. At the same time, the importance of information, knowledge and creativity of persons involved in production activity increases (Klepacki, 2005). This means that people are more and more often crucial for efficient use of production resources and success of the pursued economic activity (Coleman & Grant & Josling, 2004). Their knowledge, ingenuity, ability to gather and process information and seek new, more efficient solutions determine the dynamics of development (Kowalski, 1998) and decide on the improvement of competitive capacities (Woloszyn, 2004). Therefore, today the most valued personal traits are resourcefulness, competence, skills and those that require continuous improvement to achieve success in the pursued economic activity (Radziukiewicz, 2013). Moreover one of the determinants of the process of multifaceted rural development is the improvement of the quality of human capital. It preconditions the launching of positive transformation processes in the agricultural sector and on rural areas, including also changes in the structure of populations working in agriculture and outside of it (Becker, 1993).

The progressing elimination of barriers restricting economic confrontation of entities causes an increase in global competition, which is more and more pronounced also as regards farms. This forces continuous restructuring and modernisation of the entities from the Polish agricultural sector in order to efficiently adjust them to the changing economic circumstances (Kowalski & Rembisz, 2005). Since in the setting of ongoing globalisation the macroeconomic conditions are increasingly important for agricultural producers and only those who can face the competition, depending on marginal efficiency relationships, will survive on the market (Czyzewski, 2007).

Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) does not allow to cover with global processes the agriculture of European Union (EU) countries. …

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