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Polish farmsteads ensure food security for our nation: President

“Poland’s rural areas provide us, Poles, with food security for our nation and our homeland whilst ensuring that the Polish export grows,” President Andrzej Duda said on Sunday during the pan-Polish harvest festival celebrated in Jasna Góra.

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In his speech addressed to the participants of the morning thanksgiving mass at the Jasna Góra Monastery in Częstochowa, southern Poland, the President cited prospective blessed Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński’s words: “You do not only cultivate the land with manure but also via deep love for the land of your ancestors and all that constitutes it.”

Having talked about Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, whose beatification is scheduled for September 12, and his close relation to Jasna Góra, President Duda expressed his “great joy” at being able to meet all those at the Harvest Festival 2021 and for the opportunity to come together in prayer for the homeland and the cardinal, and thanksgiving for the harvest.

The head of state highlighted the presence of the citizens, Polish farmers and the representatives of the government, including the agriculture minister. He said that with its presence at the ceremony, the government committed itself to look after Polish agriculture and the “economical pulse of Polish rural areas… to continue improving the living standards and the conditions of management in the countryside.”

The President also talked about the government’s commitment to “provide farmers with the possibility of selling agricultural products, so that farmers are secured in case of a natural disaster.”

The President thanked Agriculture Minister Grzegorz Puda for the much-awaited announcement of the establishment of a general agriculture insurance system aimed at protecting all farmers.

President Duda also said that the officials’ presence at Jasna Góra was “first and foremost to thank you, Polish farmers, and to bow before you, and also to bow, together with you, before the image of Our Lady of Jasna Góra, praying for the homeland, our nation and prosperity in all of Poland’s households, so that we may work and raise our children in peace.” The President concluded, saying: “May God Our Lord bless Polish farmers, may the Lord bless the Polish countryside. God bless. Long live Poland.”

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Agriculture Minister Puda felt that faith and patriotism have always been the highest values for Polish farmers. He expressed his wish for young people to establish families in the countryside and become farmers.

Mr Puda stressed that a farmer was not just an inhabitant of the countryside and a food producer but firstly a master of the family, loyal to tradition and values, dedicated to culture, a household and landowner, for whom the work in the field was the purpose of life, passion and an expression of great respect for nature.

The minister felt that “the Polish countryside has been underestimated ever since Poland’s accession to the EU” and that Polish farmers had been punished with lower EU subsidies for managing a balanced agricultural economy. He noted that when the climate and pandemic crises had emerged “it turns out that small, Polish family farmsteads have become an alternative and a source of security in these difficult times.”

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