The paper aims to improve our knowledge about the impact of a new instrument of the rural development policy on the behaviour of farms and food-processing enterprises in the Lodz region in Poland. It seeks to explore the characteristic features of the agricultural holdings and their owners as well as agricultural processing businesses applying for financial support in the framework of an EU pre-accession fund. The research concerns 42 SAPARD applications submitted by farmers and 34 SAPARD applications submitted by foodprocessing enterprises during the first year of the programme implementation.


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