Farmers' protest. There are “preliminary arrangements” with the government, but there is still a long way to an agreement

Luc Williams

“Preliminary findings”

However, as industry organizations emphasize, this is a preliminary, first step towards reaching a final agreement with the government. For now – in their opinion – this consensus should be treated as “preliminary arrangements”.

– What has been signed are only arrangements. This is the first step towards taking further steps, he said Sławomir Izdebski,chairman of OPZZ Farmers and Agricultural Organizationswho, however, did not directly participate in Tuesday's and Wednesday's negotiations.

The government side was represented by, among others, deputy minister of agriculture Michał Kołodziejczak, who pointed out that “these were very difficult talks for both sides.” – We talked until late, but we managed to agree on a set of mutual obligations – noted the deputy head of the ministry.

7 points, mainly about Ukraine

The editorial team of the portal received the content of the findings. The most important issues concern the inflow of cheap agricultural products from Ukraine, which have been a source of conflict and tension between the government and farmers for many months.

According to the arrangements, the Ministry of Agriculture committed to:

maintaining the embargo for agricultural products from Ukrainewhich the government, then of Mateusz Morawiecki, introduced in September 2023;

– submitting a request to the Council of Ministers suspension from April 1 transit from Ukraine embargoed products;

embargo extensions and the transit ban for sugar;

subsidies for grain purchases (wheat, triticale, barley, rye, cereal mixtures);

– maintaining agricultural tax at a level no higher than in 2023.

Moreover, as we read in the document, the social side – i.e. the farmers' community – declares support for the government's actions “in order to change the principles on which the European Green Deal in agriculture is based.”

Talks with Ukraine are 'exceptionally difficult'

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture emphasized that ban on the transit of Ukrainian grain and sugar through Polish territory will remain in force until an agreement is reached between Poland and Ukraine, which will secure our market.

Yesterday, during the European Agricultural Forum in Rzeszów, the Minister of Agriculture Czesław Siekierski he added during the debate with farmers that talks with Kiev are “exceptionally difficult” because Ukraine “is doing great lobbying in Brussels.”

On the other hand Prime Minister Donald Tusk he expressed hope that by the time of the meeting with the Ukrainian government on March 28, common solutions with Ukraine will be adopted, which will be “much safer for Polish agriculture.”

Representatives of various agricultural groups and organizations participated in the Tuesday-Wednesday talks with Minister Siekierski, including: from the “Oszukana Wieś” association, from the Independent Farmers' Trade Union, from AgroUnia, and from the National Union of Farmers, Agricultural Circles and Organizations.

However, it is still unclear what the fate of the agricultural strikes and demonstrations will be. Some of them are organized “bottom-up”, some by organizations and structures demanding changes other than those included in today's arrangements. Therefore, some of the farmers standing on the barricades today announce that they will stay there, and others that they will change the form of protest.


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