[Title:] Agrarian Economy and Rural Development - Realities and Perspectives for Romania. 7th Edition of the International Symposium [Publisher:] The Research Institute for Agricultural Economy and Rural Development (ICEADR) [Place:] Bucharest [Year:] 2016 [Pages:] 70-77
This paper describes the evolution of land reclamation works in Romania, from the second half of the twentieth century and until today. Given that over two thirds of the farmland was affected by unfavorable phenomena, such as frequent drought, waterlogging and soil erosion, the totalitarian political power instituted after the Second World War decided to improve the situation. Priority was given to irrigation facilities because they were expected to substantially increase the agricultural production and yield per hectare, which were among the lowest in Europe. Between 1950 and 1989, by successive programs developed by specialists under political order, over 3 million hectares were equipped for irrigation (ranking the second or the third in Europe); on similar surfaces, there were performed works to combat waterlogging, and over 2.2 million hectares were equipped with facilities for soil erosion control. Given that, in 1950, only 42 thousand hectares were equipped for irrigation, 368 thousand hectares were equipped against waterlogging, and only 2 thousand ha for soil erosion, in the next four decades (1950-1989) there were performed land reclamation works and improvements on more than 8 million hectares. The financial effort, the rush, but also the lack of some measure in some works, such as irrigation, damaged the quality of works, many of them with important missing parts. The faulty operation for which there were insufficient financial resources yielded to unsatisfactory results compared to what was expected. After 1989, the arrangements have been degraded, and the land was irrigated increasingly less, while working endlessly to rehabilitation and modernization studies and projects, this time in accordance with the principles of market economy.