Ruling party presents package for farmers amid growing discontent
Poland's conservative ruling party Law and Justice (PiS) at a Saturday convention presented a package of solutions to support farmers who have recently expressed their disappointment with government policy.
Farmers have complained about growing fertiliser and fuel prices, the government's inefficiency in fighting the African Swine Fever (ASF) that has decimated their livestock, and the low payments they receive for their produce.
Agrounia, a farmers' organisation, have been staging protests across Poland, blocking roads and openly attacking the government and the agriculture minister in particular.
But PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński said on Saturday that farmers have always been at the heart of his party.
"Today, after many years, I want to repeat: We are the representative of Polish famers, we're proud of it, we're proud of this honour," Kaczyński said.
The party leader announced a range of new solutions aimed to make life easier for Polish farmers, including facilitation in selling their produce, subsidies to insurance, increased efforts in fighting the ASF and tax reliefs.
Kaczyński also said the government will earmark PLN 4.5 billion (EUR 1 billion) to rebuild the Polish food processing industry.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, also present at the convention, pledged to make the EU subbsidies for Polish farmers equal or higher than the EU average within the next two years.