Cultural and Ethnic Determinants of Land Use and Inheritance in Romania
KeywordsRomania, agriculture, farm succession, inheritance, land use, production strategies
AbstractThis paper aims to demonstrate some ethno-cultural specificity in land use and land inheritance by the data of the field survey carried out in four different municipalities in Romania, representing different historical regions where the ethnical composition of the regions is very different. The understanding of land management and agriculture is very different between the groups. The paper presents the data of a project which is the collaboration of a Swiss and a Romanian team in a three-year programme (SCOPES programme of Swiss National Science Foundation), in which a survey was carried out with the help of questionnaires. This was applied in a sample of 612 rural households in four municipalities. The main questions focused on land use and land inheritance as well as agriculture. The sample included two generations: the parents and their children (362), men and women. The research team looked for an answer to the question: "who are the next generation farmers in Romania and are there cultural and ethnic and also gender-based differences between rural families?" As the data show there are four different strategies applied in the four regions. In one, traditional sustainable agriculture was preserved, combined with a high rate of international migration. In another village there is a good perspective for farming, but a lot of young people are going to other sectors of activities. In the third location the former socialist cooperative was transformed into a new type of agricultural cooperative. This region has the best developmental perspectives. In the fourth region agricultural activity is maintained and the local economy also includes other types of activities which are complementary to agriculture (trade, industry and other services).
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