[Title:] Agrarian Economy and Rural Development - Realities and Perspectives for Romania. 8th Edition of the International Symposium, November 2017, Bucharest [Pages:] 61-68
This paper addresses the evolving nature of agriculture in the Danube Delta, since the 1950s and to the present day. The paper makes the inventory of the studies and programs aimed at increasing the share of the agricultural activities in the Delta, of the attempts to transform the Danube Delta into a significant segment of the Romanian agricultural economy. Over time, there has been a great competition between agriculture and the main Delta resources; in this regard, fishing has always been a key component of the Delta's economy. Between 1955 and 1965, particular importance was given to the industrial exploitation of the reed, as raw material for cellulose and paper. To this end, the Delta was divided and embanked, and a special machine system was implemented in order to harvest the reed. By destroying the reed's biological bases (the rhizomes), the reed yield decreased; thus, by late 1960s, reed cultivation became unprofitable. Then, it was considered that the embanked areas could be drained and turned into agricultural polders. Successive programs assigned to agriculture larger and larger areas, ranging from 100,000 ha to over 200,000 ha; however, these were not materialized. In fact, agriculture was practiced on areas ranging from 60,000 to 70,000 ha, with a tendency to specialize in a biological system according to the requirements for the environmental protection of the reserve.