Romanian peasants vs. foreign investors

This year brought new measures for Romania under EU regulations and the country opened its land market to foreigner investors.

The new changes raised some questions because 25% of the entire Romanian population earns its living from agriculture and everybody fears that peasants will suffer from these measures. The Guardian published a report in which talked about the situation of Romania’s agriculture.

 “Small farmers are facing a difficult choice: sell up and move west to look for work, or hold tight and navigate a life of increasing rural poverty”, the Guardian explains.

In the last years, foreigners from all over the world came to Romania to buy agricultural land. They’ve used loopholes and managed to buy over 1 million hectares of land because the Government supports foreign investment instead of small landowners.

“Yet this isn’t social policy but market mechanics, the amalgamation of Romania into a global economy that is driven solely by the accumulation of wealth and facilitated by politics. Peasants are an obstacle to this because they are not great wealth producers, yet they are the owners, collectively, of a resource that is worth a lot to investors – land, and everything that lies below and sits upon it. The antipathy towards peasants is motivated purely because they are standing in the way of a few people making a lot of money”, The Guardian explains.

The publication makes a comparison between Romanian and British agriculture in terms of evolution, mentioning that Britain’s agriculture faced a transition from pastoral to industrial for three centuries. The same situation is now present in Romania over the last decades.

“The communal, state-owned lands on which, up until few years ago, 90% of farmers grazed their livestock, have all but disappeared, rented off at cheap rates by the authorities to foreign companies”, according to The Guardian.

On the other hand, Romanian rural population is growing quickly because more and more people are moving to the country side due to huge prices and chaotic city life. More than 100,000 people each year choose to move back to the country side.