Romania is a semi-presidential republic located in southeastern Europe. A part of the Soviet and communist bloc throughout most of the 20th century, Romania became a free-market democracy in 1996 and joined the European Union in 2007. Today, with a total of 238.391 square kilometers, Romania is almost the size of Oregon. The country is dominated by mountains and scattered plateaus as well as 225 kilometers of coastline along the Black Sea. Likewise, Romania has a seasonal climate marked by year-round precipitation and cold winters. Currently, the country has a total population of almost 22 million citizens, with an average age of 41 years. Furthermore, about 54% of Romania’s population lives in an urban setting, notably the city of Bucharest with some 1.8 million inhabitants.
Agribusiness and Economics in Romania
The country’s national annual gross domestic product (GDP) is US$482 billion (PPP) and the national economy has experienced positive growth upwards of 4.0% in recent years. The Romanian economy is divided into 4% agriculture, 33% manufacturing, and 63% services. Meanwhile, the national labor force is divided into 28% working in the agriculture industry, 29% working in the industrial sector, and 43% working in services. Similarly, the national agriculture industry utilizes about 61% of the national territory, while another 29% is forested. In terms of natural resources, Romania has limited reserves of petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, timber, salt, arable land, and hydropower capacities. Within manufacturing, the national industry is focused on auto assembly, textiles, footwear, machinery, metallurgy, chemicals, food processing, petroleum refining, mining, and construction materials. Simultaneously, the country’s agricultural industry has as main products wheat, corn, barley, sugar beets, sunflower seed, potatoes, grapes, eggs, and sheep.
In terms of trade, Romania is the world’s fortieth largest export economy. During 2016, the country imported US$72 billion worth of goods and exported US$64.8 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of US$7.2 billion. Furthermore, that same year, Romania’s main export, representing 8.2% or US$5.34 billion of the country’s total, were vehicle parts. On the other hand, the country’s main import, representing 4.2% or US$3 billion of all international purchases, were also vehicle parts. Meanwhile, Romania’s main trading partners are fellow members of the European Union, notably Germany, France, Italy, Hungary, and the United Kingdom.
In recent years, the average per capita protein intake of animal origin amongst the Romanian population has been 48 grams daily. Simultaneously, land distribution and output in the country have evolved throughout the last half century. Back in 1961, permanent pastures and meadows in Romania covered 4.2 million hectares, while arable land covered 9.9 million hectares and permanent crops covered 540.000 hectares. More recently, by 2016, permanent pastures and meadows had increased to cover 4.5 million hectares, while arable land represented 8.6 million hectares and permanent crops accounted for 418.000 hectares.
Likewise, the domestic cereals market in Romania has evolved during the last half century. In 1961, the country devoted approximately 7 million hectares of land to the production of cereals and produced 10.6 million metric tons annually. By 2016, Romania devoted 5.5 million hectares of land to cereals production and yielded some 21.8 million metric tons.
(Read more about The Importance of Agricultural Preparedness and Resilience)