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Decision time for Romanian farmers

29 September 2006

ROMANIA - Getting agriculture right in this predominantly rural country is central to reviving its fortunes.

Before World War II, Romania was especially good at growing grain. But successive land reforms under communist rule left the country's farms in a time-warp, often producing little more than food for individual families.

The EU will pour the equivalent of just under a billion euros into Romanian agriculture next year, with the figure rising fourfold by the end of the decacde. But not all farmers will benefit. Romanian dairy farmer and qualified vet Mihai Petcu has 600 cows - and he's a fan of the European Union.

His neat model farm just south of Bucharest is equipped with the latest automated milking and cooling equipment.  It is one of the relatively few farms in the country that already meets Brussels hygiene standards.

From January 2007, whether they like it or not, Romania's estimated four million farmers will be thrown into the path of the multi-billion-euro juggernaut that is the Common Agricultural Policy.

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Source: BBC.co.uk


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