Reviving the sheep breeding in Poland

Problematic background and context
The initiator of this idea is Roman Kluska, a well-known Polish businessman whose permanent address is in Nowy Sacz. The Nowy Sacz region is quite mountainous, with the highest unemployment rate in the Malopolska province, of which the village residents have an 80% share. This is a group of people facing long-term unemployment, due to their low qualifications and lack of professional experience. It is essential that steps are taken to give them hope for social-professional work, in the aims of reducing the increasing presence of inactivity, unwillingness and apathy. An equally important matter is that of returning the Beskidy landscape to what it once was. The grazing of sheep (which have been disappearing since the time of the war) has a fundamental impact on this, as it allows for the mountain pastures and meadows to be upkept, preventing their overgrowth with less desirable plants and the encroachment of the forest, and in this way maintaining the picturesque areas of the Beskidy.

Solution description
In 2003 an idea was proposed to the regional office, on the basis of which a detailed program was elaborated, directed at the unemployed, those looking for work and sheep breeders. It involves the Work Fund co-financing of the purchase of small flocks, ensuring sufficient meat and wool, ongoing monitoring, training and program promotion. Its primary goal is to limit the effects of unemployment in village areas through creating places of self-employment connected with shepherding, as well as additional places of work in shepherding homesteads. The remaining goals are: to create an integrated economic model of shepherd production, increase the social-professional activity of village residents, supply the market with valuable and healthy food, and rescue the mountain landscape from becoming spoilt.

Commencement – May 2003. Conclusion – January 2007

Development phase
The program was carried out in full in the Nowy Sacz region. Unfortunately, it can not be disseminated in the remaining regions by the Employment Office owing to statutory changes that took place in 2004 concerning the financing of farming by the Work Fund. At present there are 23 people taking part in it.
The time frame from July 2003 – June 2005 will involve: – a verification of farm possessions in terms of their suitability for carrying out the program goals – a signing up of 36 unemployed people accepting the economic activity of the contract, foreseeing: the refund of partial costs, as well as the sharing of loans from the WF to carry out economic or farming activities. – a signing of contracts and receiving of sheep – a program of monitoring and supervision over the sheep farm – evaluation of the pilot program – assistance in carrying out the program in other regions of Malopolska

Revenue/costs model
Work Fund Contributions: – refunding part of the costs of equipping the work stations – refunding part of the costs incurred in carrying out farm activities – loans for the creation of new work areas – loans for carrying out farm activities

Social evaluation
A release for the local society’s and non-governmental organisations’ activity. Professional qualifications gained through training maintaining of cultural traditions connected with breeding and the grazing of sheep.

Environmental evaluation
Maintaining of the Beskidy landscape and enhancing the region’s attractiveness. Revealing of panoramic viewing points. Maintenance of the existing pastures and meadows. Rescuing the mountain landscape from becoming spoilt.

Economical evaluation
Creation of an integrated economic model for sheep-goods production. Creation of places for self-employment. Limiting the effects of unemployment in village regions. The development of agro-tourism. Supplying the market with nutritious and healthy food.

Sabina Francuz / Academy of Arts in Cracov / Poland

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