Thursday, March 13, 2008

Romania Agriculture 'Halved Since 2001'

12 March 2008
Bucharest _ Romania’s agriculture industry shrank by 17% in 2007 compared to the year before, the president of the National Statistic Institute, Vergil Voineagu, said Wednesday.

The country’s Domestic Gross Product (GDP) rose last year 6%, to Lei 404 billion (€ 121 billion) but agriculture contributed just 1.3% to that growth.

Land under cultivation also shrank and more than a million hectares of farmland was not even worked on, Voineagu added.

The country was hit by a severe drought last summer.

The only agricultural products that saw growth last year were wine-making, potatoes and sugar-beet.
According to these figures, agriculture has declined by 50% since 2001 and a quarter since 2005.

Voineagu admitted agriculture was the most difficult sector of the national economy in 2007, and production was at its lowest in 25 years.

In 2007, Romania became a net importer of agricultural products, which contributed 10% to the country’s trade deficit.

The most important contributors to GDP growth was the construction industry which rose by 33%, while the tourism, transportation and IT services grew by 10%.

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