Romania - Agriculture

Although under communism the emphasis had been on industrialization, Romania is still largely an agricultural country. Of the total land area, 43% was arable land in 1998. Agriculture engaged about 16% of the active population and accounted for 15% of GDP in 2001.

The government began forming collective farms in 1949 and had largely completed the collectivization process by 1962. By 1985, of a total of 15,020,178 hectares (37,115,460 acres) of agricultural land, 29.7% was in state farms, with another 60.8% in large cooperative farms. The socialized sector consisted of 3,745 collectives, 419 state farms, and 573 farming mechanization units by 1985. The Land Reform of 1991 returned 80% of agricultural land to private ownership. Of the 14.8 million acres of agricultural land in 1996, some 2.6 million private producers farmed 44.6%; 20,400 associations of private producers farmed 25%; 1,171 state farms operated 12.8%; and public land accounted for the remaining 17.6%. Average farm size for private producers that year was 2.5 ha (6.2 acres); for associations, 180 ha (445 acres); and for state farms, 1,620 ha (4,003 acres). The fragmentation of land is one of the leading factors inhibiting productivity in agriculture.

Grain growing has been the traditional agricultural pursuit, but the acreage has been reduced since World War II, and more area has been assigned to industrial and fodder crops. The 1999 production totals (in thousand tons) for major crops was wheat, 4,658; barley, 624; corn, 10,014; oats, 390; soybeans, 169; sunflower seeds, 1,208; sugar beets, 1,360; vegetables, 3,745; potatoes, 3,162; and grapes, 1,420. In 2001, exports of agricultural products totaled $446 million. Agricultural imports amounted to $1,224 million that year.

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