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Competencies and agricultural entrepreneurship of dairy farmers in Poland, Lithuania and Slovenia

Farmers in Eastern Europe face important challenges. It is assumed that improved capacities of farmers on strategic management and entrepreneurship enable them to better anticipate towards the continuous changes and keep their farms viable. Therefore a study which aims to give insight in the competencies and entrepreneurship of dairy farmers in Poland, Lithuania and Slovenia was started in 2011. A survey amongst 1038 farms was carried out in 2011 and the beginning of 2012, of which 334, 334 and 362 dairy farmers in Lithuania, Poland and Slovenia, respectively, were included in the analysis. Most farmers interviewed (71.5%) characterised their farms as a specialised dairy farm. Expand dairy production and further specialisation were chosen most often as focus for the development of the farm in the coming 5 years (by 70.4% and 70.3% of the interviewed dairy farmers respectively). The farmers qualified the farming goals earn enough money to support the family, maximise profit, breed sustainable dairy cows (regarding longevity and fertility), keep costs as low as possible and improvement of animal welfare as (very) important. Perceived opportunities were technical developments, ICT applications, EU subsidies, advisory services and internet. The future reduction of direct payments was seen as the biggest threat. The interviewed farmers perceived the possibilities to perform their preferred strategies and their knowledge to do so as neutral or a little positive. They were quite positive about their entrepreneurial competencies (especially analysing and pursuing) and abilities for strategic reflection and perceived themselves as rather financially conservative. They appeared to be reasonably positive about their future. If a distinction is made between farmers with high and low competence levels, it appears that farmers with a high competence level make different strategic choices (more often directed to further development of the farm), have higher scores for entrepreneurial features, are more positive about their future and have bigger farms than farmers with a low competence level. The results of the survey serve as basic measurement for trainings on strategic management, innovation and entrepreneurship in Lithuania, Poland and Slovenia.


Keywords: agricultural entrepreneurship, competencies, strategic choices, development direction, future prospects.




de Lauwere, C.; Malak-Rawlikowska, A.; Stalgiene, A. Klopcic. M. ; Kuipers, A. 2014. Competencies and agricultural entrepreneurship of dairy farmers in Poland, Lithuania and Slovenia, in Cattle husbandry in Eastern Europe and China – EAAP Scientific Series135 / Strukture, development paths and optimization, 2014. The Netherlands: Wageningen Academic Publishers 2014, 135(1):115–124. ISBN 978-90-8686-232-0, eISBN 978-90-8686-785-1, ISSN 0071-2477. D0I10.3920/978-90-8686-785-1_8. [SCOPUS].


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Competencies and agricultural entrepreneurship of dairy farmers in Poland, Lithuania and Slovenia (Open Access)

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