When we export food, do we export water?

eksportujemy wodę

The latest figures show that in 2022. The value of Poland’s agri-food exports totaled 47.6 billion euros. It is about 27% higher than in the previous year.

It was the European Union that was the main recipient of our exports last year. Agricultural and food goods worth approx. 35.2 billion euros, i.e. 74% of the total. These were mainly poultry and beef meat and dairy products. The key customers, in terms of financial share, are Germany (€11.9 billion), the Netherlands (€3.1 billion) and France (€2.9 billion).

Poland also trades with countries outside the EU. Significant customers in 2022. were primarily: United Kingdom – 3.7 billion euros, Ukraine – 945 million euros, the United States – 770 million euros, and Israel – 439 million euros (in this case there was an increase in value by as much as 50%). Exports were mainly: dairy products worth 1 billion euros, poultry meat – 990 million euros, wheat – 776 million euros, chocolate and chocolate products – 733 million euros, bread and bakery products – 731 million euros.

Comparing data from previous years, one can see an increase in the value of Polish agri-food exports. In 2022. The balance of trade in these items also increased, amounting to 15.5 billion euros.

Water needs in crop and livestock production

We mention this in Water Issues because agri-food production is heavily dependent on access to water. It is indispensable at almost every stage of operation, whether on farms or in fruit, vegetable or meat processing.

Regardless of export volumes, trends or the dynamics of changes in trade values (for more information, see the CSO), it is worth pointing out examples of water needs in livestock or crop production.

It is estimated that 900 to 2,000 liters of water are needed to produce 1 kg of wheat, and 500 to 1,500 liters of water are needed to produce 1 kg of potatoes.

For the daily effective production of 25 liters of milk, the body of a modern cow needs, depending on the housing system, from 75 even to 100 liters of drinking water. In addition, each day in the production process, water is needed to wash the milking facilities and cool the milk (up to 7 liters of water/1 DJP), to clean the floors, including in the milking parlor and waiting room (up to 8-9 liters/1 DJP). In the case of beef production, several tens of liters of water are used per day to water 1 DJP, another liters to wash the floors of the manure and walkway aisles (4 liters/1 DJP) and the milking parlor and waiting room (as much as 8-9 liters/1 DJP).

Added to this are the water needs at the processing stage, but we will write about this in more detail in future issues of our newspaper.

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