With the approach of spring, Poland's farmers have been preparing for the new season.
GV Czosnow village with outlying farms.
GV ZOOM IN & SV Farmer scatters seeds by hand. (2 SHOTS)
CU PAN Farmer fertilises land by shovel. (2 SHOTS)
GV & CU Farmer plants onions by hand in Stanislawowo village. (3 SHOTS)
GV ZOOM TO SV Farmers, with horse-drawn carts, wait for coal to be loaded up at village of Debin.
GV PAN EXTERIOR Machine and equipment store in Nowy Dwor. (2 SHOTS)
CU INTERIOR Farmer buys tractor chains.
GV & SV Farmer ploughs land by tractor. (2 SHOTS)
GV PAN Fruit and vegetable greenhouse at state farm co-operative in Wieliszow.
CU Tomato plants in rows.
GV PAN & CU Flowers in greenhouse. (2 SHOTS)
LV & CU Cucumbers boxed and packed. (4 SHOTS)
GV PAN & CU EXTERIOR People queue outside grocery shop. (2 SHOTS)
CU Shoppers buy farm produce. (2 SHOTS)
GV PAN & CUs Praga district street market in Warsaw. (4 SHOTS)
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Background: With the approach of spring, Poland's farmers have been preparing for the new season. Figures published recently in the government newspaper, Zycie Gospodarcze, said that planners expect for the next two years, farm crop harvests to rise annually by over two per cent. This would still be less than pre-1980 levels when the country was thrown into disruption by the rise of the free trade union, Solidarity, and the consequent imposition of martial law. During the state of emergency, the government imposed strict rationing, which led to long queues outside foodshops. The situation was helped by international supplies of food from relief organisations. Since the lifting of martial law in December last year, industrial and agriculture production has risen, but many items are still tightly rationed, including meat, seen by most Poles as the central dish in the meal of the day. Average incomes dropped by a quarter during 1982 and official planners expect the annual inflation rate to rise to 30 per cent late this year. Grain imports fell to 3.7 million tonnes last year, compared to 6.7 million in 1981. Officials estimates that Poland will have to export 200,000 tonnes of meat to be able to import 4.9 million tonnes of grain and animal fodder. An unofficial barter trade exists to buy essential food and goods and people with relatives in the country visit them to barter for food from the farmers. In the farms surrounding Warsaw, much of the work on the fields was carried out by hand on March 31 in preparation for the spring. Sophisticated agricultural machinery was scarce and many farmers queued with their horse-drawn carts for coal supplies at the village co-operative in Debin. Other farmers were able to obtain tractors from the shop at Nowy Dwor, to plough poor quality soil. Fruit and vegetables were in plentiful supply at a state farm 40 kilometres from Warsaw. Tomatoes and cucumbers for export were grown in 13 hectares of heated greenhouses, with another 12 hectares under construction. Each year, the capital receive
s thousands of tonnes of fruit and vegetables from the farm, while flowers grown there are exported to Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union, West Germany and Sweden. The well-stocked stalls in the Praga district street market in Warsaw attracted many Polish housewives on March 29. A fortnight earlier they'd heard the government say it would not increase the price of foodstuffs for the rest of the year.