Romania is seventh biggest agricultural producer in EU but its potential is underused
Romania became the seventh-biggest agricultural producer in the European Union (EU) in 2019, moving up one position after Brexit. The country’s agricultural production reached almost EUR 19 billion in 2019, up by 2.2% compared to the previous year, according to the latest Eurostat data.
The growth recorded by Romania’s agriculture sector in 2019 versus 2018 was slightly under the 2.4% overall growth recorded in the EU. However, when compared to the average of the previous five years (2014-2018), Romania’s agriculture produced 13.7% more in 2019, the third-highest growth rate in the Union, and more than double the overall 6.2% growth in the EU.
Romania’s share in the EU’s total agricultural production was a little over 4.5%. Romania ranks behind France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Poland.
It’s hard to think that Romania will move up into this ranking in short to medium term. Romania is far behind Poland, which had an agricultural production of EUR 26.3 bln in 2019.
However, Romania can at least close the gap on Poland in the next years if it increases efficiency.
Romania uses about 13.4 million hectares of land for agriculture, which results in an average production of EUR 1,414 per hectare. Meanwhile, Poland uses 14.5 million hectares and produces EUR 1,813 per hectare. Should Romania reach a similar productivity per hectare as Poland, its total agricultural output would reach EUR 24.3 bln, up by 28% compared to the 2019 figure.
However, Romania's biggest obstacle in improving efficiency is the small dimension of local farms and the local farmers' reluctance to associate and work larger plots of land together.