Foreign investors control 40% of Romania’s arable land | Land Portal
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November 10th 2015

By: Romanian insider

Foreign investors have come up to control as much as 40% of Romania’s arable land, according to a recent study made by the Transnational Institute for the European Parliament.

The study, which focuses on how much land in Europe has been bought by non-EU investors, shows that Romania is among the countries that have sold some of the largest surfaces to foreigners.

“The agriculture land grabbing phenomenon in Easter Europe is particularly alarming,” the study shows, mentioning Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Poland as hotspots, reports

According to the study, which relies on various unofficial data sources, as Romania doesn’t have such statistics, about 20% to 30% of Romania’s arable land is owned by EU investors and another 10% is owned by non-EU investors. The total amounts to some 5.3 million hectares of Romania’s total arable surface of 12.3 million hectares.

In Timis county, for example, a third of the land is exploited by Italian companies. Among the biggest land owners are Lebanese citizens, Austrian counts, banks and insurance companies.

This generates negative effects on the workforce and the environment, the study also says.

A recent investigation made by Romanian and foreign journalists shows that Dutch group Rabobank has bought over 21,000 hectares of land in one of Romania’s poorest regions, using corrupt middlemen and taking advantage of the poor peasants.

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