Water advisors – test of a new type of advisory services in Poland


Water advisors – test of a new type of advisory services in Poland

By Janusz Dąbrowski, Master of Law, Centre for Agricultural Advisory Services

Water advisors

It seems relevant to start a presentation of the Waterdrive delivery process from a brief contextual information concerning the system of public agricultural advisory in Poland. Thus, it shall be indicated that the main features of this system are as it follows:

  • There is a fully operational network of public agricultural advisory services covering the whole area of Poland – over 3000 field advisors across the country.
  • The costs of the advisory network and related infrastructure are covered by all taxpayers through the national budget.
  • The agricultural advisors are divided according to their specialization (i.e. general advisor, agri-environmental, rural development, farm business advisors).
  • The system operates in the network of 16 regional agricultural advisory centres and local offices at county and commune levels.
  • Funding of majority of the regional centres is based on combination of the governmental subsidy (taxpayer input) and income from services provided to the farmers.

There has been defined objectives of the Waterdrive project intervention to the agricultural advisory system in Poland:

  • to design and test a new type of advisory services in the case area – water advisor.
  • to work out a proposal to facilitate an inclusion of new services into the national agricultural advisory system.

What we’ve achieved by October 2020:

The national level:

  • In-depth needs identification, including a national questionnaire on a sample of agricultural advisors covering area of Poland (2019).
  • Establishment of the interdisciplinary working group consisting of the representatives of research institutes, public administration and agricultural advisory services to develop a training curriculum for water advisors at the national level, (2019 -2020),
  • Delivering a cycle of trainings at the national level for the water advisors representing all the regional advisory centers across Poland (September-October 2020),
  • Planned activities by the end of the project delivery – to continue the dialogue with key decision makers regarding the inclusion of the new type of agricultural advisory services into legal framework of wider training schemes for the advisors in Poland.

The case area level:

  • A cycle of meetings in the case area involving all the key stakeholders has been implemented (2019, 2020).
  • Testing of water advisors’ activities in two communes in the Kutno case area.
  • Measurable results so far – two investment projects developed by the testing water advisor for two farmers.
  • Planned activities by the end of the project in both communes of the Kutno case area – to continue a further involvement of all relevant actors representing farming, agricultural advisors and local planners in communities to take joint actions.

Some of the Water managers’ tasks in the future in Poland

Main tasks

Protection / establishing small water bodies

Reconstruction of drainage systems towards
Amelioration of soils

Controlled drainage systems

Cultivation of catch crops and soil embedding crops (intercropping)

Minor tasks

Establishing shelterbelts

Afforestation of selected, unproductive lands Establishing and protection of ecotone meadows
and wetlands

Based on Kutno County, Poland Selected implementation area: Bedlno commune