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OECD Rural Policy Reviews: Poland 2018

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Poland has seen impressive growth in recent years, and yet regional disparities in economic and social outcomes remain large by OECD standards. The overall living conditions in rural communities generally remain below those of urban communities, and rural households face higher poverty rates. This study examines the range of policies impacting rural development in Poland. It offers recommendations on how to boost agricultural productivity, support economic diversification, enhance inter-municipal co-ordination, deepen decentralisation, and improve multi-level governance.

English Polish

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Executive summary

Poland has key strengths in agriculture, but has yet to transition to a fully modern form; labour productivity remains low and poverty rates are high. Poland’s strengths in agriculture include a large arable land base that has production capacity that can be readily improved as well as a growing food-processing industry. However, Poland’s agricultural sector is also the most labour intensive in the European Union; agriculture as a share of total employment stands at 11% while its total value added to the economy stands at only 2.4% (2015). This is in part due to limited land consolidation and the dominance of small farms, as well as hidden unemployment in agriculture. While agriculture is a key economic activity for rural dwellers, it is not highly remunerative and farm households face high poverty rates. In 2016, approximately one in four farmers lived in relative poverty, and 11% of farmers lived in extreme poverty.

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