New types of agricultural advisory services in Poland
In Poland limited water resources have been identified as one of the main issues facing farming communities and public actors involved in agricultural sector managing. Consequently, some specific challenges for agricultural advisory services are identified:
- Current structure of the agricultural advisors is based more on a type of production (i.e. plant, animal production), not on cross-cutting topics like water management,
- Agricultural advisors have been focused on supporting farmers in meeting specific requirements related to EU and domestic regulations, with very limited time to deal with some other topics,
- Supporting institutional framework aimed at water management for agriculture and rural areas operates within the framework of three ministries. The system of coordination at the national level is under development.
- A final structure of the EU RDP measures after 2020 to be applied in Poland, is not still clear. The real structure of tasks for agricultural advisory system is still unknown.
As a result of these factors, it has been decided to focus on designing new type of agricultural advisory services and testing some of new proposals in the Polish pilot area.
In order to develop and test in the Polish pilot area a new type of agricultural advisory service, the following assumptions have been taken:
- existing skills of agricultural advisors as a starting point,
- advancing advisor skills/knowledge on water retention, effective utilisation of the existing drainage system etc.,
- developing specific training materials for agricultural advisors,
- embedding a new type of advisory service in the existing institutional framework in Poland in terms of all types of cooperation between relevant actors (i.e. Polskie Wody, local governments, water companies).
Development actions are on-going by June 2020. Due to the restrictions all the activities will be continued although in a modified form:
- The work with agricultural advisors in the pilot area to test selected aspects of the new type of advisory services,
- Online consultation process with water companies leading to a definition of the scope of activities for new type of agricultural advisory services,
- Establishment of a team consisting of some external experts for identification of the scope of activities for the new type of agricultural advisory services.
As a result CDR will develop two reports presenting a lesson learned from testing of the new type of agricultural services to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Janusz Dąbrowski, Centrum Doradztwa Rolniczego w Brwinowie – CDR / Agricultural Advisory Centre in Brwinów – CDR, Poland