Romania adopts organical agriculture to save her soil and come through rural poverty
05 / 2002
In Romania, the idea of ecological agriculture was seen as a way of solving the difficulties of small and large scale farms:
- Environmental matters like, mainly, soil, water and air pollution, soil erosion, alteration of the soil organic matter and of biodiversity. Soil pollution was caused by the indiscriminate disposal of wastes like plastic, aluminium, etc. , coming from domestic and industrial sources. Water was also polluted by the dumping of chemicals and the use of fertilisers which were washed away by rain. Air pollution was caused by the smokes of the wood used as fuel and of the gases emitted by vehicles and factories. The Romanian soils underwent erosion after heavy autumn rains and spring melting period. With the washing away of the top soil, a lot of humus disappeared, depriving the soil of much of its organic richness. The result was a decrease in soil fertility, less food available, and a consequent impoverishment of the food chain and of biodiversity.
- Rural development is threatened by an increasing rural exodus caused by the lack of facilities like healthcare, education, communication infrastructures, water and electricity.
- Food security or the quality of food depend on the ability to increase the efficiency of the farming systems in order to produce at low cost and gain high profits. More knowledge in ecological agriculture could improve the quality of the products through the introduction of high yielding crops, resistant species and high quality crops.
From the beginning, the National Federation of Ecological Agriculture of Romania involved about 300 people from all over the country: farmers, workers, policy makers who met with the need to work together. It is worth mentioning here that the problems encountered in this completely new system were very minimal and quickly dealt with. Thus a total success was achieved because of the commitment of many Romanian specialists who have been working on a three modules training programme:
- theoretical training during winter and spring workshops,
- design of farming systems: the participants that design proper farming systems can provide assistance to others,
- evaluation: all lecturers, along with the participants, visit the system of each designer and look for immediate response to their problems.
Following Romania’s example, we can hope that family farming systems and ecological agriculture should spread quickly in other countries.
This file was written during the World Peasant Meeting in Yaounde, Cameroon, from the 6th to the 11th of May 2002.
Contact : TONCEA, Ion, National Federation of Ecological Agriculture of Romania - Tel: 00 40 1 315 08 05 or 00 40 9 272 46 07 - Fax: 00 40 4 264 20 44 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Interview with TONCEA, Ion, president of the National Federation