“Land grabbing” in Romania is a problem. Large areas of arable land are falling into the hands of major foreign investors, at the expense of local people.
So-called land grabbing, buying up large areas of agricultural land, is no longer just a phenomenon in Africa or Latin America – it is a topic around the world. Countries in Eastern Europe are also increasingly affected. The documentary looks at the people affected by large-scale land acquisitions. A change to the law in 2014 has made Romania’s pastures and arable land highly attractive to foreign investors, from Europe and around the world. Buying agricultural land brings in big EU farming subsidies. And when farming no longer pays off for domestic smallholders, they feel forced to sell their holdings. It’s turned into a kind of mass fire sale. But in many cases of land grabbing, the land isn’t used for agricultural purposes. Pasture and arable land is left fallow, or it goes into private ownership. And local farmers and people are paying a heavy price. Monoculture is destroying biodiversity and cheap agricultural products from abroad are wrecking the country’s domestic markets. The land is being pulled from under the feet of an entire generation of Romanian farmers. But a group is keen to mobilize Romania’s five million small-scale farmers to oppose land grabbing in the country.
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