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

Introduction

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. The need for transformations resulting in sustainable competitiveness of the EU agriculture on the global market with simultaneous reduction in export subsidies is more and more often discussed (Czudec, 2008). The achievement of this aim largely depends on raising internal competitiveness through optimal use of production factors and reduction of production costs. Better use of production potential (especially of land and labour resources) depends also on the progress as regards diversification of professional activity of the rural population. This is the task that farms in each Member State, hence also Poland have to face (Maurel, 2005).

At the background of the EU countries, Poland has relatively significant resources of agricultural land and therefore it has the means to become an important producer of agricultural commodities. But concentration of a large part of production resources on farms carrying out small-scale agricultural activity is a weakness of the Polish agriculture (Poczta, 2010). What is more, the size of agricultural production determines the economic strength of individual farms (Wos, 1998).

The micro-economic weakness of the majority of farms establishes rather poor sectoral position of the Polish agriculture at the background of the single agricultural market (Poczta, 2010). Although the desired changes gradually take place in the Polish agriculture, from the perspective of its improved economic situation, the potential competitiveness of the sector still does not give strong basis for international competitiveness (Poczta, 2010). In this case the Polish agriculture requires further and relatively more dynamic changes in the field of agrarian structure, largely aimed at structuring the segment of economically strong farms. …

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