Unfavorable spatial structure of arable land located in Małopolska is a major obstacle in conducting agricultural activity. Arable lands located in the southern part of Małopolska are fragmented, have small area, and irregular shapes. Agricultural activity on land with an unfavorable spatial structure is associated with an increase in production costs, which directly results in lower income of farms. One of the methods of improving spatial conditions is to implement land consolidation works. They allow to organize the spatial structure, increase the area of agriculturally used parcels, while reducing their number. The article presents a new approach in determining the parameters of land fragmentation. GIS tools were used to identify areas with unfavorable spatial parameters. The methodology which allows for the processing, filtration of source data, determination and visualization of land fragmentation parameters is discussed. As part of the research, the Binning method was used, which allows to visualize the phenomenon and simultaneously reduce the data used. In the work, a detailed assessment of land fragmentation parameters was made, which can be used in agricultural land management works. Analyzes have shown that the southern areas of the Nowy Targ County are characterized by intensive fragmentation of arable land. There are also unfavorable parameters related to the elongation and shape of parcels in the discussed areas.
Land consolidation procedures are an attempt to comprehensively change the existing spatial structure of land in rural areas. This treatment also brings many other social and economic benefits, contributing to the development of consolidated areas. Land consolidation in mountain areas differs in many respects from those implemented in areas with more favorable conditions for the functioning of agriculture. The unfavorable values of land fragmentation indices, terrain conditions and lower than the average soil quality affect both the dominant forms of agricultural activity and the limited opportunities to improve the distribution of plots in space, parameters of shape, and the area as a result of land consolidation. For this reason, the effectiveness of land consolidation in mountain areas can be achieved by improving the quality of transportation network and the accessibility of the plots, arranging ownership issues and improving the quality of cadastral documentation. This article presents the evaluation of the measures of effectiveness of land consolidation realized in mountain areas on the example of Łetownia Village in the Małopolska Province, located in the southern part of Poland. Selected village is an area with unfavorable conditions for the functioning of agriculture and high values of land fragmentation indices.
Social and Economic Costs of Spatial Disorder in Agriculture. The main objective of the study was the identification of the phenomena of chaos in the structure and spatial organization of agriculture, that is the agrarian fragmentation of farms, exclusion of land from agricultural production in suburban zones and the fragmentation of the agricultural landscape. These processes cause a major increase in economic and social costs, which results in the loss of resources and spatial disorder in agriculture. An attempt was made to estimate the costs of these processes in economic, social and environmental terms. The economic dimension of spatial disorder in agriculture is manifested by negative results in the production and consumption sphere related most often to high labour costs, and consequently to low incomes. The social dimension of spatial disorder in agriculture is demonstrated by the effects of de-agrarization processes and deformation of social structures. De-agrarization means the processes of agricultural area reduction, extensification and fallowing as well as an increasingly limited significance of agriculture as a workplace and a reduction in the source of income by rural residents. A conducted analysis of spatial disorder in agriculture resulting from the lack of appropriate regulation and taxation systems as well as historical factors allowed determining direct and indirect results influencing the structure and spatial organization of agriculture. Direct results include: a chessboard pattern of agricultural land, marginalization of the agricultural function in rural areas which mostly applies to suburban zones, unregulated ownership of farmland, its unjustified designation for other purposes, a decrease in biodiversity in agriculture and fragmentation of the agricultural landscape. Indirect results include: an increase in the costs of agricultural production, expensive agricultural-installation plans, loss of direct payments, easement appurtenant, the emergence of human-environment conflicts and major transformations of the agricultural landscape in a suburban zone.