Attila Blenesi-Dima
Agriculture remains a significant sector of the Romanian economy in terms of area, contribution to the GDP and in particular share in the total employment. Romania’s total area is 14.8 million hectares, out of which 9.4 million is arable land, accounting 63% of total agricultural area. Agriculture accounts 13% of Romania’s GDP and its share in employment remains excessively high (38%) with negative consequences for farm productivity and rural incomes. The way chosen by Romania to give back collective land (i.e. land that belonged previously to agricultural production cooperatives) resulted in a highly fragmented ownership pattern. Privatization and redistribution of agriculture land has involved more than 5 million people, fragmenting land-ownership and causing the average farm size to fall to less than 3 ha. Farms are, moreover, divided into 4 or 5 separate parcels. As a consequence Romania’s farming sector a polarized structure in land operation emerged and developed: on one hand a large number of small peasant household farms, and on the other hand a relatively low number of large-sized farms, organized according to private holdings principles. In between, there has been a yet relatively thin layer of individual agricultural holdings that have a production potential and orientation of economic activity quite similar to those of the family farms in the EU Member States. The ability of the Romanian agricultural and rural sectors to cope with the competitive pressures in an enlarged single market will also be dependent upon the quality of decision making in mitigating the effects of land fragmentation, which should be part of a wider and more comprehensive rural development policy. Thus, in an optimistic evaluation only a little more than 6% of total individual agricultural holdings from Romania could be compared with the family farms in the EU countries. This figure is quite relevant and does not impose additional comments on the efficiency of land resources allocation to the largest part of agricultural producers from our country. We should highlight here once again the need to accelerate the process of land consolidation into viable farms, able to face the competition in the European Union. In the same time appears an immediate benefit for the improvement of the agricultural property structure and ownership, less fragmented and adequately equipped with rural and agricultural infrastructure.
land consolidation; rural development; land cadastre; land development; institutional frame; legal frame; land issues; agriculture
Presentation: oral