ISSN 2284-7995, ISSN Online 2285-3952


Published in Scientific Papers. Series "Management, Economic Engineering in Agriculture and rural development", Vol. 16 ISSUE 2
Written by Aurel LUP, Liliana MIRON, Indira Deniz ALIM

This article deals with Romania’s land policy in the second half of the twentieth century, with an introduction to the global context of the actions undertaken in order to increase the agricultural production, to ensure food in relation to the demographic evolution. For a very long time, i.e. for several millennia, the attention was directed toward the extension of the cultivable area, by deforestation, meadows grubbing, terracing, in parallel with the expansion of the areas equipped for irrigation, which, in 2000, were assessed at about 270-275 million hectares. Lately, and especially in the twentieth century – the 2nd half – the attention was directed towards technological enhancement, in order to double or even triple the production capacity of the land. In Romania, the mid-twentieth century agriculture is characterized by a very low yield, due to an extensive technological system associated with the phenomenon of drought, affecting more than 2/3 of the arable land. In these circumstances, the land policy of the state aimed at expanding the arable area to 10 million hectares and at enhancing technology; in this regard, a priority role was played by land reclamation works, especially by irrigation, which would be imposed on 5.5 thousand ha - about 55% of arable land. By the end of 1989, about 3.1 thousand ha were equipped; this area is questionable if we were to compare it to other countries with similar climatic conditions. With its over three million ha, Romania had 0.14 ha of irrigable land per capita, one of the largest in the world. This performance was achieved through extreme investment efforts, exaggerated in connection to the economic strength of the country. Whereas the land reclamation investments were assessed to over $10 billion, the country resorted to massive foreign loans whose repayment required great sacrifices, while the objectives of land productivity and economic efficiency were not met. The increase in the average yield per ha was well below expectations, particularly in high intensive crops, such as maize, that occupied the largest land area equipped for irrigation. The yield was 3-4 t/ha for wheat and maize, instead of 6-10 t/ha, as it had been planned; 1.0-1.5 t/ha for soybean and sunflower, instead of 3 t/ha; 15-20 t/ha for potatoes or sugar beet instead of 25-30 t/ha or 40-50 t/ha. The authors consider that the main cause of the failures in this field is represented by the disproportion between the financial resources allocated to investments, in arrangement of great surfaces for irrigation, and those allocated for their rational exploitation. Fertilizers and other inputs required for the irrigation technological system and even those required for the integral irrigation of the equipped surfaces were missing. The main attention paid to irrigation was accompanied by the neglect of the other two categories of land reclamation works, i.e. erosion control moisture control, which were affecting Romania's agricultural areas in the same way as drought, and even more, according to the opinion of experimented specialists. In the recent years, under the market economy, the attention of policy makers is still focused on irrigation, i.e. on the rehabilitation of areas as large as possible from the old irrigation systems, erosion control and moisture control being neglected.

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© 2019 To be cited: Scientific Papers. Series “Management, Economic Engineering in Agriculture and Rural Development“.

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