Semi-Subsistence Farming – Prospects for the Small Romanian Farmer to Choose between a “Way of Living” or Efficiency
“Subsistence and semi-subsistence farming” has been a research topic in the last decades on which a generally agreed definition was not reached yet. The main approaches to this subject are based on some criteria such as: farm size, economic size and market participation. In the context of the last 2 waves of EU enlargement, the subsistence farming, a specific phenomenon in the New EU Member States that occurred as a result of the transition economies and land reforms, induced important social implications in the rural area and considerable development gaps between the Old Member States and the New ones. For efficiency and competitiveness reasons, with the Common Agricultural Policy a special rural measure was designed to support the drive to commercialization of subsistence and semi-subsistence farms in the NMS. For the practical implementation of this measure, the generally definition for semi-subsistence farming in the context of the NMS has been agreed as “the farm producing mainly for self-consumption, but also selling a certain part of the production”, in which the “surplus” part that is sold has a degree of regularity and consistency. This issue was debated in the new Member States (NSM), before the elaboration of the National Rural Development Plans, being tackled through the local characteristics of each NMS, depending on the development level of the respective economies, correlated with the degree of general modernization of the society and with the accuracy of the available data. This paper intends to present some options for different types of small Romanian farmers to overpass the semi-subsistence status and become commercial, using the support options provided by CAP.
semi-subsistence farming, rural development, New Member States, measures of National Rural Development Plans, Romanian farmers
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