Romanian Rural Area – General Informations
87% from total area is delimited as rural area
45% of the total population (9.7 million inhabitants) are living in
the rural area
64% of the rural population occupied in the primary sector
4.256.152 farms – average size of 3 hectares
91% of them are subsistence or semi-subsistence farms
But also, large commercial farms exists and are covering almost
half of the utilized agricultural area
Nature conservation and agriculture – some general aspects
Generally, a good status of environment mostly due to the structural
changes of agriculture starting from early 90’s.
Switch from a limited number of very large state owned farms to
millions of tinny family households - led to mass extensification and
Recent statistics are showing increasing use of chemical inputs and
increasing mechanization. Irrational development of tourism activities
within protected areas and change of land use.
Also, abandonment of farming is an important threat in marginal areas.
Small producers (mostly traditional shepherds) are loosing their access
to markets, amplifying the loss of traditional farming systems and
valuable pastures respectively.
High Nature Value Farming
Although the concept of High Natural Value (HNV) farming is not yet fully
developed it can be considered that many HNV farming systems are still
present in Romania.
A minimum of 3.32 million hectares of Romania’s agricultural land can be
classified as area were is most likely that HNV systems are present.
(Analysis based on Corrine Land Cover)
Is HNV concept relevant? Possible connections.
Mapping the HNV led to the observance of connections like:
– Significant overlapping with less favoured areas exposed at risk of land
– Significant overlapping with national protected areas and future N2000 sites
– Significant overlapping with farmland having other specific environmental
But also, significant overlapping with poverty and with many areas where population
awareness levels are extremely low.
Is HNV relevant? For environment - YES.
What about the farmers? Is HNV support relevant for them?
Can be, if it provides answers to the main wishes of every farmer:
1. Good and stable income
2. Social status
3. Attractive rural space to live in
LFA areas are clearly overlapping to a large extent with extensively managed
farmland, that is very often threatened by abandonment.
On the long term, LFA support alone will not have the capacity to ensure HNV
farming survival, but it is clear that it will have an important contribution,
especially in the next few years until other mechanisms like Natura 2000 and
agri-environmental schemes will be fully functional.
Overlapping Protected Areas and Land Abandonment Phenomena
Natura 2000 network
Up until now extensive work was carried out in order to identify the areas proposed to be
included in the network as Natura 2000 sites, currently the situation stands as follows:
– 148 sites SPA (Special Protected Areas) representing approx. 14,06% of the
– 229 sites SCI (Sites of Community Importance), representing about 7% of the
Still, there are many problems that are hampering the implementation of Natura 2000
compensatory payments and it is estimated that it will take a few more years until these
problems will be completely solved and the payments will be running.
But, even when compensatory payments will be running and the network will be fully
functional, large areas of HNV farming will remain outside Natura 2000.
“Available experience” to build on:
Pre-accession agri-environmental measure (SAPARD measure) – 47
applications, all from the same region where an NGO had played the
role of an advisory mechanism. Showing clearly the importance of
advisory services for the success of this measure.
Romanian farmers are not familiarized with this type of measures –
large information campaigns are needed in the following years.
Existent private consultancy companies are oriented towards big
investments projects. The state advisory system needs time and
training to cover possible future demand for agri-environmental
How cost efficient are promotion/training/advisory/administration per
A fazed approach for the 2007 – 2013 period
3 sub-measures were chosen to be implemented until 2010:
• Support for conversion to organic farming
• Support to maintain organic farming production
Basic grassland conservation plus other different packages
• HNV grassland conservation
• Wet grasslands conservation
• Restoration of grasslands invaded by scrub
• Traditional working practices on grasslands
Water and Soil protection
• Winter crops
• Transformation of arable land into grassland