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Władysława Łuczka
Sławomir Kalinowski

Keywords : organic farming, reasons for discontinuing, financial support, institutional environment, barriers to shifting back, Poland

Aim: This paper attempts to close the research gap on the reasons for discontinuing organic farming in Poland. The goal is to explore the aspects that make Polish farmers cease organic farming and the barriers and factors which condition their re-embarking on the organic path. Methodology: This paper relies on data from a survey of 134 Polish farmers who moved away from organic farming. This study was carried out with former farmers who ceased organic farming between 2014 and 2018. It comprised two stages: the first was an interview with a non-random group of 18 farmers who discontinued organic farming. The second stage used a diagnostic survey with an original questionnaire administered to farmers who shifted away from organic production. The survey was conducted in 2021. Initially, 534 questionnaires were sent by mail. As the return rate was low, the procedure was repeated twice. As a result, 134 questionnaires were received back out of 1,569. Results: The study found the following to be the key reasons for discontinuation: end of the five-year period of financial support, high production costs, insufficient levels of support, low yields, and un-profitable production. The “committed pragmatic farmers” was the most prevalent of the three types covered by the study. The drivers of their decision to go organic included both economic (financial support and incomes) and environmental aspects. However, the key reasons for ceasing organic farming were of a financial (end of the five-year support period) and institutional (burdensome bureaucracy and inspections) nature. Conclusions: Although certain countries witness considerable discontinuation rates, there is a relative scarcity of papers dealing with this issue. Poland is an example of a country which has seen an acceleration in the shift away from organic farming over the recent years, resulting in a drop in the area of organic farmland (by 185,000 ha from 2014 to 2018).

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Łuczka, W., & Kalinowski, S. (2023). SOCIOECONOMIC REASONS FOR DISCONTINUING ORGANIC FARMING: A POLISH CASE STUDY. Acta Scientiarum Polonorum. Oeconomia, 22(1), 27–46.

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