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Abstract

This article focuses on afforestation of agricultural land and reviews agricultural land afforestation changes in Poland implemented by beneficiaries (natural or legal persons) of the RDP, with special regard to regional differences. Furthermore, the study distinguished between trends in afforestation for separate EU budgetary periods: 2007-2013 and the current financing period 2014-2020. The study applies data published by the Central Statistical Office for 1995-2018, concerning the size of the forest cover by ownership type and spatial distribution, the forest area in the total land area of a farm, and the average price of arable land. Additionally, data concerning the afforestation of agricultural and non-agricultural land have been obtained from the Agency for the Restructuring and Modernisation of Agriculture for 2007-2018. Results show that the afforestation of privately-owned agricultural land was 33,053.53 ha in Poland between 2007-2013, whereas it was 6,742.06 ha between 2014-2018. In both periods, the largest land area was afforested in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie and Mazowieckie voivodships, while the smallest in the Śląskie and Małopolskie voivodships. Although the current financing period will expire in 2020, available data suggest that the total afforested area of agricultural land area in the current period will be smaller than in the previous period. The comparison of both afforestation periods shows that only in the case of the Warmińsko-Mazurskie and Opolskie voivodships, the average percentage share of forest cover in total land area owned by a farm slightly increased, but both voivodships, are of little significance in afforestation efforts. The most significant decrease in the newly afforested area was in the Małopolskie Voivodship, which is likely related to average farm size and land location as well as related natural conditions.

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