Romania is stepping up despite Russia blocking Ukrainian grain export to Europe. A New York Times article has been published, reflecting Romania’s advantages in the Russia-Ukrainian conflict. How can Romania expand its agricultural sector in an unfavourable context?
According to New York Times, Romania’s geographical position in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is favourable from an agricultural point of view. Romania’s port in Constanta, on the western coast of the Black Sea, has provided a critical transit point for Ukrainia’s grain since the beginning of the war.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused an upheaval in the global grain market. Even before the invasion, the world faced a food system crisis due to covid-19 and supply-chain blockages. Since the war, roughly two dozen countries, including India, have tried to improve their own food supplies by limiting exports. In 2022, droughts in Europe, the United States and North Africa have taken additional tolls or harvests. The results of the crisis are already affecting the market prices.
The article has highlighted the perspective of the situation from a Romanian farmer’s point of view, named Catalin Corbea.
Because of the war, there are opportunities for Romanian farmers this year.Catalin Corbea, Farmer
Romania’s farm output is dwarfed by Ukraine’s, but it’s one of the largest grain exporters in the European Union. 60% of Romania’s wheat was exported abroad in 2021, mainly to Egypt and the Middle East. This year, Romania’s Government allocated EUR 500 million to support farming and keep production up.
However, Romania’s farmers are facing many challenges. They are facing higher prices of diesel, pesticides and fertilizers. Transportation infrastructure across the country is neglected and outdated, slowing the transit of exports while also stymieing Romania’s efforts to help Ukraine do an end-run around Russian blockades.
As expected, when it comes to an opportunity for the development of Romania, the Romanian Government has the stupid habit of screwing things up. Recently, the Romanian agriculture minister resigned after the National Anticorruption Directorate requested the lifting of his parliamentary immunity in order to be investigated for abuse of office.
In such a context, when Romania has the opportunity to expand its agricultural sector while helping fill the food gap left by landlocked Ukraine, it remains without an agriculture minister. Ironically, Romania has all the necessary resources to develop and has opportunities to increase its export sector, but it has incapable leaders.