Special Issue "Challenges of Contemporary Agriculture, Rural Areas and Agri-Food Supply Chain under Conditions of Uncertainty"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Agricultural Economics, Policies and Rural Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 13697

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Piotr Prus
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture and Biotechnology, Bydgoszcz University of Science and Technology, Al. prof. S. Kaliskiego 7, 85-796 Bydgoszcz, Poland
Interests: sustainable development; sustainable development of rural areas and agriculture; education for sustainable development; rural advisory services; agricultural knowledge and innovation systems (AKIS); diffusion and adoption of innovations in rural areas; multifunctional development of rural areas; entrepreneurship; non-agricultural entrepreneurship in rural areas; horizontal and vertical integration in the food sector and agriculture; formation and operation of agricultural producer groups
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Agriculture and rural areas are constantly changing. These transformations are influenced by the dynamically changing socio-economic environment, as well as changes in the natural environment. Currently, more and more attention is paid to climate changes and the need to prevent and/or adapt to them, as well as protecting natural resources. Agriculture is facing enormous challenges in this regard. In addition, agriculture and rural areas are faced with many uncertainties due to problems related to epidemiological threats such as African Swine Fever (ASF) and SARS-CoV-2. These uncertainties affect the entire agri-food sector, including food supply chains.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are now the most important guideline for sustainable development for all economic, social and environmental actors. They also provide important guidelines for the development of agriculture and rural areas, as well as logistics in the agri-food market, which is the basic aggregate of the economies of almost all countries. Their implementation is particularly important for the functioning of sustainable food supply chains as well as non-food raw materials of agricultural origin.

The purpose of this very interdisciplinary Special Issue is to look for an answer to the question of how in this difficult, but interesting from the researchers' point of view, time can the inhabitants of rural areas, professionals related to agriculture and agri-food logistics cope?

I would like to cordially invite colleagues from various scientific disciplines who conduct research on agriculture, rural area development, agri-food logistics, etc., to submit articles to this Special Issue.

Dr. Piotr Prus
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • sustainable development of rural areas
  • sustainable agriculture
  • challenges of agriculture and rural areas under conditions of uncertainty
  • sustainable agricultural techniques and technologies
  • livestock welfare and sustainable breeding
  • challenges of agriculture in the face of climate change
  • impact of subsidies on the development of agriculture and rural areas
  • the role of agricultural advisory services in the development of agriculture and rural areas
  • multifunctional development of rural areas
  • non-agricultural functions of rural areas
  • social development of rural areas
  • reduction in poverty and social exclusion in rural areas
  • employment and unemployment issues in rural areas
  • agricultural markets
  • agricultural policy
  • agri-food trade and international agri-food markets
  • agri-food logistics
  • consumer behavior changes affecting the directions of agricultural production
  • food security and food safety
  • climate changes
  • climatic risk and crop production
  • water resources and water management – agricultural and environmental aspects
  • rainfall and water deficits
  • irrigation

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Research

Article
Stubble Quality of Wheat Grown under No-Tillage and Conventional Tillage Systems, and Effects of Stubble on the Fermentation Profile of Grazing Ewes’ Ruminal Fluid
Agriculture 2022, 12(4), 520; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12040520 - 06 Apr 2022
Viewed by 465
Abstract
Conservation practices that involve leaving mulch on the soil are known to increase soil fertility. However, mulch is an important source of feed for ruminant livestock. Accordingly, the trade-offs between mulching and stubble uptake by livestock are currently hot topics in the research [...] Read more.
Conservation practices that involve leaving mulch on the soil are known to increase soil fertility. However, mulch is an important source of feed for ruminant livestock. Accordingly, the trade-offs between mulching and stubble uptake by livestock are currently hot topics in the research field. In this study, a comparison between the quality of stubbles of wheat grown in no-tillage and conventional tillage fields and the rumen fermentation characteristics of Barbarine ewes grazing in the two fields was carried out. Samples were collected four times after wheat grain harvesting. Immediately after harvest, stubble biomass was slightly higher under no-tillage than conventional tillage. The ewes displayed different grazing behavior, with feeding at a higher rate on the conservative stubble than the conventional stubble. This feeding behavior seemed to be an adaptive strategy to offset the decline in the nutritional quality of stubbles from no-tillage-grown wheat. Indeed, dry matter, protein, fiber, and ash contents were lower in stubbles from no-tillage than conventional tillage at the second sampling time. Consequently, the concentration of the volatile fatty acid, propionic acid, was lower in ewes grazing in the conservative plots. However, this feeding behavior did not cause any body weight impairment during the two-month experimental period. At the end of grazing, the no-tillage practice was found to be comparable to the conventional tillage system according to the amount of residue remaining on the soil surface. Therefore, no-tillage could not be used to solve the competition between crops and livestock for residues. Full article
Article
Bilateral Economic Impacts of China–Pakistan Economic Corridor
Agriculture 2022, 12(2), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12020143 - 21 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 538
Abstract
China is making large investments in Pakistan’s transport infrastructure under the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor. This study aims to quantitatively analyze the bilateral impacts of these investments through several policy scenarios in 2025 using a global economic model. Our results show that due to [...] Read more.
China is making large investments in Pakistan’s transport infrastructure under the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor. This study aims to quantitatively analyze the bilateral impacts of these investments through several policy scenarios in 2025 using a global economic model. Our results show that due to transport infrastructure development, the GDP and welfare of both Pakistan and China will improve, with a maximum of 0.3% and 0.01% increase in GDP, and USD 2.6 billion USD 1.8 billion gains in welfare for Pakistan and China, respectively. Regarding mutual trade, Pakistan’s total and agricultural exports to China will increase in the range of USD 9.6–13.7 billion and USD 4.7–6.6 billion, respectively. The percentage increase in Pakistan’s net exports of agricultural commodities to China will be higher than that of non-agricultural products. Pakistan will tap into China’s import demand for fresh fruits and vegetables and other perishable food products. Due to changing trade relations, Pakistan’s production structure will undergo slight structural adjustments. For Pakistan’s agriculture sector, the rice and fruit sectors will be top gainers, with 2.1–2.6% and 1.2–1.7% output expansion, respectively. Pakistan will also experience some leveling of income due to a relatively higher increase in wages of unskilled labor than skilled labor. The output of China’s rice sector will drop the most (−1–−1.3%). Overall, the effects on China’s economy are minimal. We suggest several critical policy recommendations in light of our results, especially for Pakistan. Full article
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Article
Farm Level Milk Adulteration: Changes in the Physicochemical Properties of Raw Cow’s Milk after the Addition of Water and NaCl
Agriculture 2022, 12(2), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12020136 - 20 Jan 2022
Viewed by 374
Abstract
Sustainable food security assumes the elimination of food resources adulteration that is already present on farms. This paper is focused on changes in physical and chemical properties of raw cow’s milk treated by the addition of water and NaCl. The main studied factor [...] Read more.
Sustainable food security assumes the elimination of food resources adulteration that is already present on farms. This paper is focused on changes in physical and chemical properties of raw cow’s milk treated by the addition of water and NaCl. The main studied factor is the freezing point of milk, which is strongly influenced by the chosen treatment. Adulteration of milk by water can be detected by the changed freezing point of the milk, but this can be brought within the range of standardized limits by the addition of NaCl. Determining the concentration of chloride ions in milk by the titration method is a proxy for the added NaCl. The analysis of raw cow’s milk from 17 agricultural farms in Southwest Slovakia revealed a negative correlation between the content of chlorides and the freezing point. In another laboratory experiment, the differences in the milk freezing points were statistically significant in the samples treated with different amounts of NaCl. The relationship of chlorides and the freezing point to other milk components (minerals, lipids, proteins, solids-not-fat, lactose, pH, and milk acidity after Soxhlet–Henkel) were analysed, as well. The results showed that the chosen method of chlorides detection to identify the adulteration of milk, by added water and NaCl, was not effective due to the unstable composition of milk and uncertainty in measurements (the coefficient of determination was very low, R2 = 0.3022). Full article
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Article
Pre-COVID-19 Organic Market in the European Union—Focus on the Czech, German, and Slovak Markets
Agriculture 2022, 12(1), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12010082 - 09 Jan 2022
Viewed by 445
Abstract
This article compares attitudes to buying organic food in selected countries in Central Europe. The current research was conducted in 2019 on a total sample of 2800 respondents in the Czech Republic, Slovakia (Central Europe, with a relatively new organic food market), and [...] Read more.
This article compares attitudes to buying organic food in selected countries in Central Europe. The current research was conducted in 2019 on a total sample of 2800 respondents in the Czech Republic, Slovakia (Central Europe, with a relatively new organic food market), and Germany (a traditional Western Europe country with a mature food market). The study results demonstrate significant differences between the three selected markets. The product quality is the most important for German consumers. Slovak consumers consider organic food to be the least recognizable and least promoted of all the regions surveyed, and they are also the least likely to encounter targeted advertising for organic products. Germany is the country where most respondents regularly or occasionally buy organic food. In Slovakia, an interesting finding is the highest proportion of respondents who do not buy organic food at all. Czech respondents often buy organic products in specialized shops and like to grow organic products themselves. The results also suggest that Slovak consumers slightly more often prefer foreign organic products to the local ones, whereas consumers in Germany select regional organic products more often and prefer to buy regional products at farmers’ markets. Full article
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Article
Antioxidant Capacity and Nutritional Value of Potato Tubers (Solanum tuberosum L.) as a Dependence of Growing Conditions and Long-Term Storage
Agriculture 2022, 12(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12010021 - 25 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 879
Abstract
The aim of the study was to assess the interactive effect of the use of bio-fertilizer and organic matter brought into the soil, as well as to limit the use of mineral fertilization on the content of bioactive compounds in potato tubers cultivar [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to assess the interactive effect of the use of bio-fertilizer and organic matter brought into the soil, as well as to limit the use of mineral fertilization on the content of bioactive compounds in potato tubers cultivar ‘Satina’. The test results show a positive effect of the applied bio-fertilizer in all tested variants of organic fertilization (straw, fodder pea, manure) on the level of the tested compounds. Comparing the content of crude protein in tubers from plots where half the dose of mineral fertilization was applied, the use of bio-fertilizer increased the content of this component, especially after using straw. After 6 months of storage, organic fertilization had no significant effect on the protein content, while significant differences were found in tubers fertilized with mineral, in favor of the full dose of NPK fertilizers. The storage time increased the content of tyrosine, leucine, lysine, alanine, glutamic acid, and total AA, and also methionine, aspartic acid, and asparagine, while the content of isoleucine and phenyl-alanine decreased. The highest content of total polyphenols was found in tubers where the plots were covered with pea application, a full dose of mineral fertilizer, and the use of bio-fertilizer. Unfortunately, after 6 months of storage, potato tubers from plots fertilized with peas, especially those fertilized with half the dose of mineral fertilization and without the use of biofertilizer, significantly lost the most total polyphenols. Similar relationships were obtained for the level of chlorogenic acid in tubers, which is significantly correlated with the content of polyphenols, but only organic fertilization in the form of peas significantly increased the concentration of chlorogenic acid. On the other hand, the highest post-harvest antioxidant activity was characteristic of tubers from plots fertilized with manure, with a full dose of mineral fertilization and biofertilizer. During the 6-month storage, there was a decrease in the antioxidant capacity, on average 12.4% for the objects. This may indicate the influence of polyphenolic compounds as well as other antioxidants on the assessed trait. Full article
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Article
Androgenesis—Technology for Obtaining Genetically Stable Breeding Material of Capsicum annuum L.
Agriculture 2022, 12(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12010019 - 24 Dec 2021
Viewed by 801
Abstract
Androgenesis in vitro is a basic method of obtaining haploid plants and DH (doubled haploid) lines of major crops such as potato, rapeseed, tomato, pepper, wheat, maize, and barley, and also many different minor crops and species with lower agricultural impact. Diploid plants [...] Read more.
Androgenesis in vitro is a basic method of obtaining haploid plants and DH (doubled haploid) lines of major crops such as potato, rapeseed, tomato, pepper, wheat, maize, and barley, and also many different minor crops and species with lower agricultural impact. Diploid plants appearing among androgenic regenerants are the effect of spontaneous doubling of the chromosome number in haploid cells during an embryo’s early developmental stages and are valuable fully homozygous breeding material. The subject of the presented research is spontaneous diploidization occurring in the development of androgenic, haploid pepper regenerants. In the presented experiment, the formation of diploid seeds was observed in the progeny of an androgenic, haploid plant derived in an anther culture of a hybrid (Capsicum annuum L. ATZ × Capsicum annuum L. ‘Corno di toro’)F2. Agromorphological and molecular analyses concerned eight diploid plants being progeny of the anther-derived haploid regenerant. Five of the plants constituted a phenotypically balanced group with valuable agromorphological features. Their genetic homogeneity was confirmed using 10 RAPD markers and 16 ISSR markers. Based on the results, it was concluded that anther-derived haploid plants of Capsicum can be the source of diploid, apomictic seeds, and the obtained offspring may constitute genetically stable, valuable breeding material. Full article
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Article
Crop Insurance, Land Productivity and the Environment: A Way forward to a Better Understanding
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1108; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111108 - 06 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 685
Abstract
Providing farmers with effective risk management tools and increasing the productivity of factors of production, while limiting negative effects on the environment, is an important challenge for the current EU agricultural policy. The aim of this research is to identify and evaluate the [...] Read more.
Providing farmers with effective risk management tools and increasing the productivity of factors of production, while limiting negative effects on the environment, is an important challenge for the current EU agricultural policy. The aim of this research is to identify and evaluate the relationship between crop insurance and land productivity in the context of environmental effects. The study covered farms with crop insurance participating in the Polish FADN system. The article uses the TOPSIS method of organizing objects. We classify farms in terms of land productivity and examine the relationship between these results and the value of insurance coverage. In our conceptual and empirical framework, we recognize that there is a mutual relationship between crop insurance, land productivity and the environment. Our empirical results show that the level of insurance coverage may support the increase in land productivity, indirectly affecting the environment. Farms with the highest productivity level were characterized by an average value of insurance that was double that compared to farms with the lowest productivity level. Full article
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Article
Practices and Strategies for Adaptation to Climate Variability in Family Farming. An Analysis of Cases of Rural Communities in the Andes Mountains of Colombia and Chile
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1096; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111096 - 04 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 638
Abstract
Climate variability imposes greater challenges on family farming and especially on rural communities in vulnerable mountainous regions such as the Andes in Latin America. Changes in rainfall patterns and fluctuations in temperatures cause a greater frequency of extreme events, increased pests, and crop [...] Read more.
Climate variability imposes greater challenges on family farming and especially on rural communities in vulnerable mountainous regions such as the Andes in Latin America. Changes in rainfall patterns and fluctuations in temperatures cause a greater frequency of extreme events, increased pests, and crop diseases, which even lead to food insecurity in communities that depend on self-production for survival. This is why strategies need to be developed to face this new scenario. Two cases of adaptation experiences to the effects of climate variability in rural communities in Chile (Araucanía Region) and Colombia (Cauca Department) were analyzed on this paper. For this, a mixed methodological approach was adopted that included the analysis of climate data, socioeconomic, and productive characterization of the communities, and a characterization of adaptation practices for both cases. The results show various ways of adapting mainly to changes in the availability and access of water for the development of agriculture and for domestic use. Likewise, it is shown that in order to be successful, the measures for facing climate variability must be part of coordinated strategies under a community-based adaptation approach and not developed in isolation. Full article
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Article
Effect of Drip Fertigation with Nitrogen Application on Bioactive Compounds and the Nutritional Value of Potato Tubers before and after Their Long-Term Storage
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1076; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111076 - 31 Oct 2021
Viewed by 613
Abstract
The nutritional value and the content of bioactive compounds in potato tubers are influenced by many soil, climate and agrotechnical factors. This study investigated the effect of drip irrigation and nitrogen fertilization by broadcasting and fertigation on the content of dry matter, starch, [...] Read more.
The nutritional value and the content of bioactive compounds in potato tubers are influenced by many soil, climate and agrotechnical factors. This study investigated the effect of drip irrigation and nitrogen fertilization by broadcasting and fertigation on the content of dry matter, starch, monosaccharides, total sugars, vitamin C, polyphenolic compounds, chlorogenic acid and antioxidant activity in tubers of “Augusta” potatoes. Additionally, the magnitude of the changes in the tested components during their long-term storage (6 months) was also assessed. Drip irrigation had a significant positive effect on the content of dry matter, starch, vitamin C, monosaccharides, sucrose, total sugars, total polyphenols, chlorogenic acid and antioxidant capacity. Compared to broadcasting fertilization, fertigation significantly increased the content of vitamin C, total polyphenols and chlorogenic acid, as well as the antioxidant activity of potato tubers. Long-term storage contributed to a decrease in the tested components. The exception was the content of monosaccharides, where a more than twofold increase was noted, especially in the case of irrigated tubers. The results of the research showed a beneficial effect of drip irrigation and fertigation on the content of bioactive compounds and the nutritional value of “Augusta” potato tubers. Full article
Article
Grants for Local Community Initiatives as a Way to Increase Public Participation of Inhabitants of Rural Areas
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1060; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111060 - 28 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 626
Abstract
Increasing the participation of inhabitants in the activities of local authorities has been one of the topics in the discussion on sustainable development for a long time. In rural development, there is also a demand for increasing the participation of inhabitants. This is [...] Read more.
Increasing the participation of inhabitants in the activities of local authorities has been one of the topics in the discussion on sustainable development for a long time. In rural development, there is also a demand for increasing the participation of inhabitants. This is possible thanks, among other things, to tools that enhance bonds in local communities, encompassing processes based on the mechanisms of the co-creation and co-production of public services, or various forms of participation in the decision-making processes of self-government. In Poland, some regional self-governments (voivodeships) have introduced solutions based on a system of grants for small local communities (villages/sołectwa) linked to deliberative participation, co-creation, and co-production processes. The goal of this article is thus to analyse the design, operation, and scale of grant mechanisms implemented by regional authorities for local communities in Poland’s rural areas (sołectwa). The first stage of the research process was a review of the literature, followed by analysis of the existing solutions and mechanisms for supporting small local communities in individual regions of Poland by financing or co-financing projects that engage inhabitants in the co-creation and co-production of public goods or services. Based on this, the key assumptions considered when creating this type of mechanism of support by voivodeship self-governments were determined. A subsequent stage of research involved analysing the case study of a solution introduced in 2016 by the Łódź regional self-government. The research results indicate that the analysed grant system model stimulates local communities that were previously passive/excluded by other programmes and that, as a result of the stable conditions of a grant contest, the process of “learning” and “imitating” the actions of the communities that succeeded occurs. The research results indicate that the proposed system of grants, which is conditionally based on the participation and co-operation of the inhabitants, seems to be an effective means of activating communities. The findings also point to features that could determine the success of the introduced grant model, such as its simplicity, limiting the bureaucracy (partially limiting the influence of local authorities on who obtains grants), and the transparency of the procedure. Full article
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Article
How to Promote Medium-Sized Farms to Adopt Environmental Strategy to Achieve Sustainable Production during the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1052; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111052 - 27 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 742
Abstract
To achieve sustainable production in medium-sized farms, this research proposes a hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) to predict environmental strategy (ES), which is a crucial source of sustainable production. Based on the theory of upper echelons, the present research puts forward that the environmental [...] Read more.
To achieve sustainable production in medium-sized farms, this research proposes a hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) to predict environmental strategy (ES), which is a crucial source of sustainable production. Based on the theory of upper echelons, the present research puts forward that the environmental leadership (EL) of the chief executive officer (CEO) at phase one affects the development of environmental corporate social responsibility (ECSR) adoption, which in turn affects the development of ES adoption over time. The empirical data were obtained through a three-stage sampling method of 90 CEOs and 270 members of senior management teams (SETs) of Taiwanese medium-sized farms, over a period of six months. The research results support that the higher level of CEO EL at phase one results in the development of ECSR adoption, which in turn results in the development of ES adoption. This research opens a new direction for sustainable production by showing how to implement ES through organizational management mechanisms (EL). These findings can fill the gaps in the literature on the sustainable production of farms and can also help these farms to achieve sustainable production by adopting ES. Full article
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Article
Customer Preferences for Organic Agriculture Produce in the Czech Republic: 2016 and 2019
Agriculture 2021, 11(10), 968; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11100968 - 06 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 938
Abstract
The article analyses the customer attitude towards the qualities and benefits of organic agriculture production for farmers and customers in the Czech Republic, comparing the situation in 2016 and 2019. More than 2500 respondents were subject to the marketing research in the years [...] Read more.
The article analyses the customer attitude towards the qualities and benefits of organic agriculture production for farmers and customers in the Czech Republic, comparing the situation in 2016 and 2019. More than 2500 respondents were subject to the marketing research in the years 2016 and 2019. The data were processed using correspondence analysis and logistic regression. The research study shows that the number of respondents who consider organic food is growing; at the same time, there is a rather large share of consumers who believe organic food to be of better quality. The results show a favourable change in the popularity of organic food. While, in 2016, the main decisive factor in shopping for organic food was its price, in 2019, the main criterion, for the respondents, was quality, with the criterion of price being complemented by the perception of organic food as healthier than conventional food. At the same time, it was established that, the amount spent on organic food in 2019 was higher than that in 2016. This finding was in positive correlation with the increase in respondents’ income. For farmers, organic farming is a promising alternative to conventional agriculture due to a rising demand for organic produce. Full article
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Article
Factors Limiting the Development of the Organic Food Sector—Perspective of Processors, Distributors, and Retailers
Agriculture 2021, 11(9), 882; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11090882 - 15 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1193
Abstract
Our study aimed to explore the factors limiting the development of the organic food sector in Poland from the perspective of processing, distributing, and retailing companies. We used a qualitative approach with in-depth semi-structured interviews with the management board representatives of 17 large- [...] Read more.
Our study aimed to explore the factors limiting the development of the organic food sector in Poland from the perspective of processing, distributing, and retailing companies. We used a qualitative approach with in-depth semi-structured interviews with the management board representatives of 17 large- and medium-sized enterprises and the owners of 10 small and medium companies. The potential limiting factors, including legal, economic, technological, and environmental factors, were identified by reviewing the corporate and market reports of processing and retailing companies operating in the Polish organic sector. We used a thematic analysis recommended in the literature to analyze qualitative data. The main factors indicated by the managers were the legal concerns, limitations resulting from a lack of constant supply of organic raw materials, and increased competition on domestic and international markets. In addition, business activities in the Polish organic sector were affected by the instability of the financial situation in terms of financial liquidity, adequate cost, capital structure, and credits. The results of the study may be of value for policymakers to ensure sustainable development of the organic food sector in Poland. Full article
Article
Assessment of Meteorological and Agricultural Drought Occurrence in Central Poland in 1961–2020 as an Element of the Climatic Risk to Crop Production
Agriculture 2021, 11(9), 855; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11090855 - 07 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 721
Abstract
The results of numerous studies concerning meteorological drought show that there is a considerable impact of this phenomenon on several regions in Europe. On the other hand, statistical trends of dry spell occurrences in some areas of the continent are unclear or even [...] Read more.
The results of numerous studies concerning meteorological drought show that there is a considerable impact of this phenomenon on several regions in Europe. On the other hand, statistical trends of dry spell occurrences in some areas of the continent are unclear or even negative. Therefore, further research should be directed towards a better understanding of this hazard, particularly the seasonal changes, in order to elaborate adequate strategies to prevent and mitigate its undesirable effects. The main goal of the work, conducted as part of the research strategy on contemporary climate change, was to confirm the hypothesis of increasing frequency and intensity of droughts during the period of active plant growth and development (May–August) in central Poland in 1961–2020. The prevailing rainfall conditions in this period determine the production and economic effects of agricultural output. The analysis covered a multiannual period, including two separate climate normals: 1961–1990 and 1991–2020. The work is also aimed at detecting relationships between indicators characterizing meteorological drought (the Standardized Precipitation Index—SPI) and agricultural drought (the actual precipitation deficiency—PAdef). It was found that the frequency of meteorological droughts in the studied period amounts to 30.0% (severe and extreme constitute 6.7%). No significant increase in the frequency and intensity of meteorological droughts over time was observed. Relationships between meteorological and agricultural drought indicators were significant, so the SPI can be considered an indicator of plant irrigation needs in the studied area. Full article
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Article
The Organisational Resilience (OR) of Rural Non-Profits (RNPOs) under Conditions of the COVID-19 Pandemic Global Uncertainty
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11070670 - 15 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1173
Abstract
The study investigated the organisational resilience (OR) levels of rural non-profit organisations (RNPOs) in the areas of activity or non-activity to adapt under the global uncertainty conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, in April/May 2020, the managers of 35 RNPOs located [...] Read more.
The study investigated the organisational resilience (OR) levels of rural non-profit organisations (RNPOs) in the areas of activity or non-activity to adapt under the global uncertainty conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, in April/May 2020, the managers of 35 RNPOs located in Poland were queried. The Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient (ρS), the coefficient of determination (R2) and a transformation coefficient (d) were primarily used to verify the hypotheses and interpret the relationships studied. The study revealed four OR descriptive levels—progressive (PR), sustainable (SR), regressive (RR), and downward (DR). The findings also show that the undertaken activities are related to the OR descriptive levels. RNPOs realised one of two adaptations: passive adaptation aimed at returning to the pre-pandemic original state with no changes may lead to a bounce backwards and an uncertain survival, whilst active adaptation leads to a transformation process between OR levels to move forward and thrive in adapting to post-pandemic changes. This study confirmed that building OR requires understanding the ways of transformations among OR levels to undertake activities in strategic areas, i.e., activity scope (AS), cooperation (CO), and finance (FI), to adapt and transform RNPOs’ in an environment of post-pandemic uncertainty. Full article
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Article
Ground Frosts in Poland in the Growing Season
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 573; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11070573 - 23 Jun 2021
Viewed by 511
Abstract
The ongoing climate warming affects, among others, and the variability of thermal conditions in spring and autumn are resulting in earlier dates of the beginning and end of the growing season. The present paper provides detailed characteristics of the phenomenon of ground frosts, [...] Read more.
The ongoing climate warming affects, among others, and the variability of thermal conditions in spring and autumn are resulting in earlier dates of the beginning and end of the growing season. The present paper provides detailed characteristics of the phenomenon of ground frosts, addressing the question of whether the risk of frost-related damage in the extending growing season is still present. The assessment of temporal and spatial distribution of ground frosts (5 cm above ground level-AGL) in Poland in the thermal growing season (AT > 5 °C) was conducted on the basis of the results of air temperature measurements at 5 and 200 cm a.g.l. obtained from 52 station of the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management—National Research Institute for the period 1971–2020. The thermal growing season was calculated using the method by Gumiński. The following were calculated: the dates of the occurrence of ground frosts in spring and autumn, duration of the frost-free period, the number of days with frosts of various intensity, according to years, ten-day period and days in a year together with trends of change. The conducted analysis demonstrated that the number of days with frosts in the thermal growing season in the multiannual period under analysis (1971–2020) does not show any statistically significant changes. It was found that in the thermal growing season, the average number of days with ground frosts in Poland amounts to 28 and ranges in spring from 15 to 22, and in autumn from 8 to 12. Most frequently, approx. 49%, slight frosts are recorded, followed by moderate (29%), severe (15%) and very severe (7%). A positive effect of water reservoirs on decreasing the frequency and intensity of frosts, as well as sporadic occurrence of the phenomenon in the second half of June were demonstrated. Statistically significant earlier dates of disappearance of frosts in spring, later dates of occurrence in autumn and the lengthening of the frost-free period from approximately 2 days in the north-east of Poland to approximately 8.0 days over 10 years in the Pomerania region, create increasingly more favourable conditions for the cultivation of plants with high thermal requirements in Poland. Full article
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