This case study is part of the innovation cluster “Developing new activities” (NACT). The selected focus region for the case study implementation is Radomski, Poland (NUTS 3 – PL128).
The selected focus region, Radomski, is characterized by a gradual increase in the area of cultivation of oilseeds and plants used for biofuels and for energy purposes. It is a proper place to explore what guides farmers in the selection of such crops and the development of alternative renewable energy sources.
The region is characterized by agricultural production in which the importance of commercial farms is increasing. The main branches of production are: milk production, cereal cultivation, forage plants and pig breeding. The specialization in the region is the cultivation of peppers, which accounts for 80% of the national production of this vegetable. The area of cultivation of oilseeds and plants used for biofuels and for energy purposes is gradually increasing. Due to significant changes in agriculture, the agri-food processing sector is also developing in the region. There are over 80 processing plants in the region.
The functionality of a modern farm is closely related to the need to cover the growing demand for electricity and heat. Farmers are forced to run a rational energy economy and seek alternative sources of supply in the face of rising fuel and electricity prices.
Farms operate in the specific conditions of rural areas that constitute over 90% of Poland’s territory. The use of renewable energy sources in these areas may be an opportunity to compensate for the development of these areas. Diversification of resources in rural areas creates opportunities for innovation and the development of renewable energy sources.
Sustainable development targets include the use of distributed, low-power energy sources that produce local energy and supply it directly to households. These criteria are best met by renewable energy sources such as biomass boilers, microbiogas plants, small wind turbines, small hydropower plants, solar collectors and photovoltaic cells. The use of these technologies in agriculture enables the independent production of energy and reduces its purchase from the outside, which brings measurable financial and ecological benefits.
The development of renewable energy can become one of the most important factors for rural development. Renewable energy will increase the quality of energy in rural areas, improve supply reliability and thus stabilize the conditions for farming.
Full report is available here.
Agricultural Advisory Center (AAC)
The Agricultural Advisory Center is a government institution subordinated to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The Center is an operator that cooperates with agricultural advisory organizations, government and self-government administration institutions, professional associations, research and development units, as well as other entities working for the development of agriculture and rural areas in Poland. The purpose of current activities is the improvement of knowledge and qualifications of advisory staff as well as increase and unification of standards of services provided by advisers for farmers and other rural dwellers.