What is smart agriculture and what are its development directions? How does the Polish sector fit into the assumptions of sustainable agriculture? These and many other issues are addressed by the authors of the report “Smart agriculture and ESG challenges in Poland”, developed by PKO Bank Polski, in cooperation with experts from the Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Collegium Civitas, Grupa Azoty, and Mlekovita. The report will be presented during the European Agricultural Forum in Jasionka, whose partner is PKO Bank Polski. It is available at www.pkobp.pl/raportdlarolnika2023. The publication of the report is part of the implementation of the Bank’s strategy for 2023-2025 in terms of being the leader of the ESG transformation in the Polish banking sector.
“We want the information contained in the report to be an inspiration to take advantage of the opportunities arising from the circumstances in which Poland, the European Union, and the markets for which Polish farmers run their businesses will find themselves. We want to contribute to maintaining the competitiveness of Polish agriculture by offering it access to stable financing. This is particularly important because agriculture is an industry that is increasingly faced with technological challenges related to automation and modern data management. We are talking here about precision farming, which will ensure not only increased resource efficiency and will be environmentally friendly, but above all will allow the Polish village to become richer,” – says Paweł Gruza, Vice President of the Management Board at PKO Bank Polski.
“Due to the ongoing climate change, the agricultural sector is faced with several expectations and challenges in terms of transformation towards greater sustainability. In the report, we point out that Poland’s large share in the EU market means that it will largely depend on changes in Polish farms,” – says Dr Mariusz Dziwulski, Co-author of the report, and Sector Analyst in the Department of Economic Analysis at PKO Bank Polski.
Dr. Dziwulski will participate in a panel devoted to the challenges and prospects for the development of the Polish agri-food industry during the second day of the Forum. The discussion will focus on the problems faced by Polish food producers after the pandemic and in the face of the war in Ukraine.
The report draws many important conclusions, including:
- Further productivity increases, adaptation to the conditions of sustainable development, or changing consumer requirements – are the challenges that the agri-food sector is currently facing. Poland is one of the most important EU players in plant and animal production. And this means that the transformation in terms of achieving full sustainability of the EU agricultural sector will depend to a large extent on Polish agriculture.
- Digitization is a very important direction in the development of agriculture. Smart farming involves the use of tools that facilitate both higher yields and reduced consumption of natural resources. At the same time, it contributes to the reduction of physical labor inputs, increasing productivity in agriculture.
- However, the Polish agricultural sector is still waiting for many changes to adapt to the new conditions. On the other hand, there are areas where Polish agriculture can find its place in the implementation of the assumptions of the European Green Deal. On many levels, Polish agriculture is more in line with the assumptions of sustainable agriculture than many Western European countries. However, there is a great need for improvements in agrotechnics, both at the level of agricultural producers, e.g. in terms of increasing the efficiency of fertilization, changing production methods, or increasing the diversification of crops. This also means pressure to increase the innovativeness of companies operating in the vicinity of farms, especially producers of means for production, e.g. fertilizers.
- Agricultural activity, especially in terms of the introduction of intelligent IT and AI solutions, thanks to which individual points of the taxonomy and ESG ideas can be implemented, cannot do without broad access to capital, hence financial institutions will play an important role in supporting this process.
PKO Bank Polski also wants to support Polish agriculture and finance its development. At the beginning of February, the Bank implemented an offer that includes: a loan and a free account. The offer will be developed and adapted to the needs of farmers.
The report was developed in partnership with Grupa Azoty and Mlekovita and is available at www.pkobp.pl/raportdlarolnika2023
Source: the Bank`s press release dated March 23, 2023