“I am happy to see the way the Competence Centre − initially envisaged as a communication and experience sharing platform for the world of agriculture, business and science − is now becoming a robust institution and the first, cutting-edge think-thank of this type in Poland,” said Paweł Jarczewski, President of the Management Board of Grupa Azoty, during the conference opening.
Business has potentialGrupa Azoty, as a Competence Centre’s consortium member, was a co-organiser of this year’s conference. Its key highlight was the official publication of the second report entitled ‘Poland as an Attractive Food Producer and Food Supplier’. “We hope that this report will provoke a discussion on the future shape of Polish agriculture. For it is agriculture, along with the food industry, that make up the key sector of Poland’s economy. It is business with immense potential,” said Prof. Janusz Igras, Head of the New Chemical Syntheses Institute of Puławy and Scientific Editor of the report. “We at Grupa Azoty are active supporters of this discussion. It is because nowadays we are a completely different organisation. Polish agriculture keeps changing, and so do we. Like the Competence Centre, we too are rearranging our way of thinking. We want not only to supply fertilizers as such but also to provide our customers with expertise on how to apply them. As a result, Polish farmers are increasingly attracted to sustainable precision agriculture, which is in perfect harmony with our vision,” added Paweł Jarczewski.
Science – business – agriculture The panellists and invited guests repeatedly stressed that an advanced fertilizer industry must be based on intelligent fertilizers. A pivotal role in their development is played by science. That is why Grupa Azoty supports the idea of organising regular conferences in Puławy, where − for five years − farmers’ needs and expectations have been confronted with the potential of science and vision of business. This vision was also mentioned by Mr Jarczewski. “Today, innovation is a prerequisite for success in business. Innovation not only in terms of searching for technological or product solutions, but also looking for new solutions in such areas as, for instance, customer service. Enjoying the boons of innovation requires a proper relationship with science. And here we come back again to the overriding idea of the Competence Centre, which is the synergy of science, business and agriculture.
A different view The conference participants also discussed education in the agricultural and food sector and new regulations related to the Nitrates Directive. The record-high attendance and the 5th anniversary of the conference was summarised by dr Zenon Pokojski, coordinator of the Puławy Competence Centre. In his opinion, it is high time for holding a serious debate on the future shape of Polish agriculture. “Here, in Puławy, we wish to offer a slightly different view of the agricultural and food sector and ask the question: where do we want to be in 2025?” said dr Pokojski.
***The 5th ‘Science−Business−Agriculture’ Conference took place on October 15th in Puławy. The event, organised by the PUŁAWY Competence Centre, was held under the honorary patronage of Czesław Siekierski, Chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Fertilizers Europe. Media patronage of the conference and of the report: TVP, Polish Public Radio and Kurier Lubelski daily.