The Agricultural sector

Romania has an area of 238,391 km� and is the second largest country in the CC-12 after Poland (312,685 km�), having the about the same area as the United Kingdom. It will be the ninth largest member state by area in the EU-27.

Click here for a land map of Romania.

Romania's population of around 22.4 million is also the second largest of the new EU (candidate) countries. In an EU-27 it represents the 7th biggest country by population.

The land used for agriculture represents 62.1% (14.8 million ha) of the total land area. This is one of the highest shares of cultivated land in all EU member states. The EU-15 average is 40.6 % and the EU-27 average would be 44%.

Forest accounts for 28.5% of the total land area.

The 14.8 million ha agricultural land area is utilized for :

63.4 % arable land

33.5 % permanent grassland

3.1 % permanent crops

About 4.9 million people work in agriculture, fishery and forestry corresponding to 42.8 % of the civilian employment. The CC-12 average is 22% and the EU-15 4.3%.

Currently about 85% of agricultural land is privatized. The main form of privatization in Romania was restitution based on the land-reform after the Second World War II and this led to a rather small area of land per family. To make things worse, field plots are very fragmented. Out of a total 3.9 million holdings, 40% cultivates less than 1 ha of land, while only 0.6% of the farms have more than 10 ha.

Farm size Farms/households Land area
Ha % %
1 - 2 25,7 14,4
2 - 3 35,0 29,2
3 - 4 26,6 31,2
4 - 5 4,9 7,6
5 - 7 5,0 9,5
7 - 10 2,2 5,9
Over 10 0,6 2,3

A characteristic of Romanian agriculture is the high share of small-scale farms which produce mainly for own consumption and only little to be sold in the market. However, in the last few years the number of commercial oriented farms has increased and in some areas large scale contracting companies cultivate the land (> 1.000 ha.) on behalf of the peasant farmers.

Source: Country Report on Romania - July 2002 - European Commission.

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