Land grabbing in Romania | DW Documentary

“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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44 thoughts on “Land grabbing in Romania | DW Documentary

  1. Let me paint the correct picture. Back a not so long time ago, some westerners tried grabbing land in eastern Europe by force. Nowadays they found a cheaper way. Give the land back to the peasants, knowing damn well they do not have the tools to work, and buy it for pennies in a couple of years. In the meantime we'll send our banks which will offer loans with 9-15% interest, so we'll make sure they have to sell the land to pay their debt to our banks. We'll also run a campaign painting their lifestyle as archaic and inadequate to justify the takeover. All thanks to EU. That's the real story here…

  2. The irony is that king Bela invited the Schwabs to settle the land, then after WW2 the Germans were encouraged to go back to Germany & now because of the E.U. destroying indigenous agriculture the local people cannot compete!

  3. God I hate that Capitalist guy. 'Unused' land is being used by more important habitants of Romania than humans, and land that humans do use, should foremostly be for the production of basic necessities for the locals like food, not tourist attractions. I can't believe seemingly intelligent people are actually like this. What is gained in wealth is often lost in morals.

  4. Look at all the wounds from the shears on the sheep. That is the reality of even so-called humane, small-scale farming. It's a shame such an 'animal lover' is forced to treat animals this way.

  5. When Govt is sold out than we can see such type of situation of the people.People must be raise against the land grabber.

  6. "in the past, there where no subsidies — and the farmers did just fine" ….i.e. capitalism was working fine until STATE subsidies ruined everything. Shame on the female narrator.

  7. what people would do for the almighty dollar,at poor people's hard work.they get richer and the poor get poorer.greety people.

  8. Shepherds disturbs the turism? Lets see now what you do with turism,becouse of this crisis you will become a shephard.

  9. Not so friendly reminder to the first German guy: Germans in Transylvania have always persecuted the Romanian populatian there. Go back to Germany and stop buying land from our people. At least for respect of us, for the years of miss treatment of the Romanians in Transylvania by Germans and Hungarians. Should I mention the Closca revolt? Were hundreds of Romanians were executed in public by the Germans for not wanting to leave their villages and sleep in the fields?
    As for the second guy, props to him for helping the current situation. We need these kind of Germans in Transylvania, not the immoral valueless ones

  10. problem is more complex than that. The so called small sheep herders used the land for ages and traveled around with their livestock and used other peoples and the governments land for free. They payed no tax on water usage, no income tax, no tax on the milk products or meat products they sold. They pocketed most of the money they made. Now that there are some regulations introduced that are in place in many other countries, they have to respect private property and hygiene standards they cry because they still want to get away without paying up. But they want to use the infrastructure, have access to healthcare, schools and so on. It does not work that way any more. Sheep headers had it good before '89 also. They had special status in the communist era and had loads of money. They export hundred of thousands maybe millions of sheep every year to arab countries, where is that money going? Of course they cannot sell their products so much any more because of the competition in the supermarkets. Before people buy from them because there way no other way to buy milk products and meat but times are changing. Just because they are bad negotiators and they don't stick together to get a better deal they don't have to play as victims. Not many of them invested in a small factory to make bio products or create a brand or open their own shop in a city where they sell their products. Of course they look as victims when they expected to have all the land and water for free. Beside pastures they also took their sheep through the forests and so on. There are many countries where this would be obsolete, times are changing in Romania, they have to adapt.

  11. Who does it really benefit, Romanians or foreigners? Makes me sick. Long Live ROMANIA 🇷🇴 iubesc tara mea de origine

  12. So the facts of this story are that unproductive communal farmland in Romania is being sold on the open market. Some of the new owners turn the land into mega monoculture ecological wastelands, for short term gain, and others use the land to create diversified businesses. The people who used to use the land for free complain about it. Nobody did anything illegal. Not much of a story really. This is just what has been happening in agriculture since the dawn of time.

  13. Idiots in control of Romanian have sold it to the highest bidder. Petty soon it will not exist as Romanian. It will be owned my a murky multi national corporation.

  14. Very sad indeed. The way of thinking of Muller, the EU, and others that land is a capitalist commodity to be bought and sold, and not as a natural resource belonging to all the common people, is like an evil scourge that has brainwashed the world. I never realized how evil the EU is( dominated by the Fascists), until I watched this video. All I can say is that the Americans ultimately have the fault by allowing the Fascist mentality to continue to exist after 1945.

  15. Dear people european union its an economic criminal organisation anywhr in balkans everything its just for sale even small farmers in holland have problems why ,because the bigger companies come and take every kind of subbsidies and money from romanian government !.

  16. When prices triple it really means that the value of your money has dropped 300%. Speculation just creates inflation which is no good for anyone.

  17. I can't describe how much I want to punch that software engeneer in the face. It's incredible how little empathy he's got towards anything that's not profit .
    Stay strong Romanians, greetings from Colombia, South America.

  18. The same is in Bosnia too.Wealthy western Europeans,Asians,Arabs,Chinese,all coming here and buying land with out a care who they destroy,how many families lives they destroy and so on.They come with billions of dollars and buy up all the politicians,police,local governments,agencies,and then they sell them the best land.Doesnt matter if its a historic piece of land,natural resources,springs,waterfalls,i mean they are even diverting ancient rivers so that they flow next to their mentions while local Bosnian people are starving and forced to flee to US,wESTERN eUROPE,South America,Australia and so on.But i dont blame the foreign people i blame Bosnian people for allowing it to get this far.We have abundance of fresh water some of the biggest natural springs,amongst the top of all Europe when it comes to fresh and clean water yet we spend billions importing water from Japan,China,France and so on.I mean the countries name is BOSNA the land of WATER yet we are told we have to import even doe water in Bosnia is literary everywhere you turn and look.We have thousands of waterfalls that are in process of having built houses right on top of them or next to them for some politicians and eu bureaucrats even doe we arent even in EU,at least for now(i hope we never became part of it).We have the only remaining primeval rain forest in Bosnia called Perucica that is now being cleared for lumber by foreign companies who work for IKEA and all these giants.Its sad man what is happening to us it really is.Romania is such a beautiful country and beautiful people with long history,traditions,customs and its all being eradicated like most of the Balkans is.Greetings to all Balkan people from BOSNIA i hope things start to change

  19. I think Turkey's economy is much stronger than Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and so many European countries. EU should add Turkey instead of this poor, lazy nations.

  20. A common theme in the EUSSR? UK fishing permits are bought up by the rich who then make a profit selling them to the people who do the work!

  21. When hedge funds and oil cartels ar buying up land and profiting from subsidies designed for small farmers. We’re doomed.

  22. Gods son Christ Jesus died on thee cross for our sins so that by believing in him we can have life…belief in Jesus be a free gift from the Father, given to them ( through thee hearing of his words ) whom He hath chosen for salvation

  23. And they bad mouth America at every chance they can get; but the reality is that most countries that found themselves and willingly embraced America occupation or protectionism like Germany, Japan, and many others has fare better, the Brits come 2nd cause they have Taiwan and Singapore, and few other countries that were under them and that r doing okay, but French and all other western European countries are just scavengers and crooks never to be trusted.

  24. The continuation of the EU Common Agricultural Policy which pays the rich man to hold land is about to change. With Britain leaving the EU where will the money come from? France has already said that it will veto any discussion about a fairer distribution so it looks like trouble ahead.

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