Romania – Agricultural Opportunity – food for the future

In North East Region of Romania there are some counties specialized in production of agricultural products. This counties are: Iasi, Botosani, Vaslui and Bacau.

Neamt and Suceava are mountain region were the most predominant activity is wood and forest related.
In these counties one can develop farms for animals or grow agricultural related products on a large production basis. The land is very good for this kind of activity and the climate is temperate with worm and wet season in the summer and moderate cold in the winter.

During the period 1944 – 1989 this regions used to be one of the most important production region from Romania, after the south of the country which is mostly only agricultural based.

In order to develop a foreign investment in this filed one need to purchase or rent the land. Most of the land is in the property of private persons and can be purchased of can be rented (either for money or for agricultural products).

Purchasing the land can be tricky and might take some time since no everyone in the rural area have all the rights papers needed in order to sell the land. For example there are 3 persons (brothers) which have the land from the father which is dead and the owner of the land (in the property title) is the grand-father which is dead. So there is a time consuming procedure in order to clarify the papers and make the sail. In the same time, this 3 persons can easily rent the land to the investor and the paper for purchasing to be made in time.

The investor can also only rent and never purchase the land. Its up to his business development strategy.
Romania is known in the present for the potential for developing eco-agriculture with only organic supplements for the plants in order to grow. There can be an development of agriculture using only animal products and organic products in order increase the quality of the culture.
During this period there are also available European Union Funds for agriculture, with 70% EU Non-refundable Grant and 30% private contribution from the private investor.

Although the North-East Region includes a large area of agriculture land – 15.45% of the total agricultural surface of the country, this resource cannot be efficiently capitalized, as the productivity is low for all types of crops, due to the influence of the following factors:

  • Land quality, alternation of different soil categories, land fragmentation
  • Agricultural land is worked on small plots (1-3 ha), due to fragmentation of the land fund, as a result of privatization of the land under Law No. 18/1991 and the poor level of mechanization, considering that a profitable land exploitation is achieved on plots of at least 50 ha per tractor.
  • Aged labor force (more than 28% of the rural population is over 60 years old), while young persons migrate towards the urban centers
  • High poverty level of the owners, who face many difficulties in crop production and animal breeding
  • Lack of capital for agriculture restructuring and modernization

Due to the destruction of supply and pumping equipment throughout the irrigation systems of the region, the areas fitted out with irrigation equipment represent 135,441 ha (Bacau 20,920 ha, Botosani 20,234 ha, Iasi 50,433 ha, Neamt 10,414 ha, Suceava 3,778 ha, Vaslui 29,662 ha), the areas actually irrigated being, in fact, even smaller.

Land fund as used on December 31st, 2001- thousand

County Bacau Botosani Iasi Neamt Suceava Vaslui NE Region
Total area 662052 498569 547558 589614 855350 531840 3684983
Area for agricultural purposes 323468 392905 380997 283789 349131 401131 2131421
Of which: private sector 320308 388469 370233 276684 340299 395847 2091840
Arable 184628 298477 253491 170473 179859 288080 1375008
Pastures 87528 75146 88109 69394 91108 87349 498634
Hay fields 40247 14769 19651 40108 74819 7664 197258
Vineyards 7614 1847 11706 1111 15027 37305
Orchards 3451 2666 8040 2703 3345 3011 23216
Forests 279001 57187 99022 261330 456394 79182 1232116
Water 14765 13849 12589 10374 13630 8156 73363
Other areas 44818 34628 54950 34121 36195 43371 248083

Source: Romania’s Statistics Yearbooks, 2009