Romania Agriculture, Breeding and Forests

By | December 23, 2021

Agriculture. – Romania is still a “new country”, essentially agricultural. The extension of the cultivated area, lower in 1918 than it was previously in the whole of the Romanian countries all united, has not ceased to increase, as the situation created by the war improved. It went from 8,600,000 hectares in 1920 to 12,750,000 in 1928.

To understand the distribution of agricultural products, it is necessary to take into account the continental climate, with its early and rainy springs and late summer droughts; but also the agricultural conditions must be taken into account, and above all the economic conditions as they result from the agrarian reform.

This was particularly radical in Romania, a real revolution, which took away from owners 5,650,000 hectares to distribute to peasants. Since then the small property predominates; properties of less than 10 hectares represent 92% of the cultivated area, and in Bessarabia even 94%. Agricultural utilization processes have become less perfected: the crops that are aimed at export are decreasing to the advantage of those that are used to feed the farmer. For Romania 2004, please check

Among food crops, cereals have long occupied the first place, favored by the climate of the plains. In ancient Romania they extended for 88% of the cultivated area at the beginning of the century. XX. In 1920 they still occupied 82% of it; five years later one million hectares had been regained; in total in 1928,10,900,000 hectares were sown with cereals. Wheat and corn are the main cereals. The first tends to resume its preponderant situation (3,079,000 ha. In 1934), although income remains modest around 30 million quintals. Corn (5 million ha. In 1934), particularly suited to the climate, forms the basis of the farmer’s diet. Its production is around 45 million quintals. It is the cereal par excellence of the sub-Carpathian hills and of the Codri of Bessarabia; but it is also found in the plains. Barley is grown mainly in the east, Dobruja, Bărăgan and Bessarabia; oats especially in eastern Transylvania.

The yield of cereals could be improved, especially for wheat, by deep plowing in the plains, by introducing selected seeds and by educating small rural owners.

The crops of legumes, potatoes, beans, etc., are in progress, and cover more than 400,000 hectares, not counting the areas in which they are mixed with corn. Being used and for the maintenance of colonial families and for the feeding of the cities, their development is noted above all around Bucharest, Ploeşti, etc.

Tree crops, orchards and vineyards have always played an important part in the old Romanian population region, in the sub-Carpathian hills (podgoria), in the Codri of Bessarabia, on the slopes of the Bihor. The national tree is the plum (there are 48 million plants), whose distilled fruit provides the ļ uica.

The vine is grown in the hills of Transylvania, Wallachia, all on the sides of the great valleys. Out of 271,000 hectares, approximately 61,000 belong to Wallachia, 50,000 to Moldavia, 106,000 to Bessarabia, 40,000 to Transylvania. Except for some renowned specialties (Cornari in Moldavia, Drăgăşani in Wallachia, Arad in Transylvania), the product, badly disciplined and badly preserved, does not give the results that one would expect from some of the tastiest grapes.

In ancient Romania, industrial crops played an insignificant part. They have progressed somewhat, especially tobacco, which occupied, in 1928, 277 thousand hectares, with a production of 156 thousand quintals, concentrated in the plains of Muntenia (near Bucharest), in Bessarabia (region of Chişinău and Soroca), in Dobruja. southern and on the edge of the Hungarian plain.

Breeding. – Ancient Romania was, until the agricultural revolution which transformed the steppe plains into grain export granaries, a pastoral country; this explains how the sheep and cattle herd decreased in the century. XIX. After the World War it was completely decimated. Reconstituted through contributions from Transylvania, it is still growing today, as the small ownership favors this evolution.

The climate and tradition still ensure the sheep the first place. In 1930 there were 13,600,000 heads, that is 45 per sq km; 80 per 100 residents, an unknown average in central Eutopa and which brings Romania closer to the Mediterranean countries. The three fifths are found in the plains of Muntenia and Dobruja. Seasonal migration continues, and flocks, partly made up of Transylvanian cattle, can still be seen descending towards the Danube in autumn, after spending the summer on alpine pastures, where shepherds live with their families in temporary wooden houses (stâne). Sheep is still used as a supplier of wool (especially the Turkana breed), for dairy products (cheeses made in the mountains) and increasingly for meat.

The cattle herd includes 4,400,000 heads, of which 2,600,000 in the ancient provinces, and 1,800,000 in Transylvania (including 190,000 buffaloes). Despite the growing demand from cities for milk and meat, the ox is still used by the farmer mainly as a draft animal.

Pigs are the number of 3 million and could easily increase for the farmer’s welfare; the improvement of the races is likewise necessary.

Horses are traditionally bred everywhere, but particularly in Dobruja, eastern Muntenia and southern Bessarabia (300,000 head in the two provinces of Brăila and Ialomiţa, 400,000 in Bessarabia).

Forests. – Despite the high proportion of mountainous terrain, forests do not come to cover 1 / 4 of the country’s surface. This is due to the deforestation that took place throughout the century. XIX.

The dominant essence is beech (48% in the Carpazî and in the high hills), then come the resinous trees, preserved in the high mountains, in Moldavia and in Wallachia. The oak woods have been particularly affected: reduced to the state of coppice, they occupy only 20% of the surface. Forests are an important source of income for Romania. We obtain firewood, boards, sleepers, as well as raw material for paper mills and distilleries.

A great future is reserved for Romanian agriculture: although it has already made progress, it still has a lot to do.

Romania Agriculture