Agriculture in Romania

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Agricultural fields in Călăraşi County
Farmers working in Transylvania

Romania has an agricultural capacity of approximately 14,7 million hectares, of which only 10 are used as arable land. In November 2008, an evaluation revealed that 6.8 million hectares are not used.[1]

Agriculture summed up about 6% of GDP in 2007, down from 12.6% in 2004. As of August 2009, approximately 3 million people (close to 30% of the country's workforce) are employed in agriculture, compared to 4-5% in other Western countries. Mechanization is comparatively poor, with one tractor available for every 54 hectares, while the EU average is one tractor for every 13 hectares.[2] Approximately 170,000 tractors exist in Romania, of which about 80% are aging or obsolete.[2] Unlike Western Europe, where tractors are replaced after 3,000-4,000 hours of use, in Romania they sometimes last up to 12,000 hours.[2]

The main problems encountered by Romanian agriculturists are a lack of major investments in agriculture, due to difficulty in accessing available funds, fragmentation and erosion of soil, property-related lawsuits and obsolete technology. Several major companies have entered the Romanian market, including Smithfield Foods, Cargill, Bunge, Glencore, Lactalis and Meggle. These companies have since invested hundreds of millions of euros in Romania.

Production[edit]

According to the National Statistics Institute, in 2006 991,000 ha of sun-flower and 191,000 ha of soybean were cultivated. Cereal production in 2006 stood at 15.1 million tons, including 5.3 million tons of wheat and 8.6 million tons of maize.[3] In 2007, a severe drought destroyed over 60% of crops. Wheat production subsequently fell to 3 million tons, and prices fell 25%. Analysts claimed it was the worst harvest since 1940.[4]

Production year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Wheat 4434 7735 4421 2479 7812 7340 5526 3044 7181 5202 5587 7192
Potatoes 3469 3997 4077 3947 4230 3738 4015 3712 3649 4004 3258 4113
Sunflower 720 823 1002 1506 1557 1340 1526 546 1169 1098 1264 1864
Tomatoes - 651 658 818 805 379 571 407 536 470 414 560
Apples - 507 491 811 1097 611 579 472 455 513 543 624

Cereal, fruit and vegetable production: (thousands of tons)[5]

Through the Common Agricultural Policy, Romania will receive 14.5 billion euros between 2007 and 2013, according to statements made by the World Bank.

Romanian agricultural research[edit]

Agricultural research in Romania developed mainly through the Agronomical Research Institute (founded 1927), and post-World War II through its successor, the Research Institute for Cereals and Industrial Crops. Some of the main Romanian agricultural scientists include Ion Ionescu de la Brad, Gheorghe Ionescu-Siseşti, Nicolae Săulescu, Nichifor Ceapoiu, Zoe Țapu, Alexandru-Viorel Vrânceanu, Cristian Hera, Nicolae N. Săulescu, and others.[6][7]

References[edit]