Should Norfolk farmers consider buying land in Romania?
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With farmland expensive and in short supply close to home, East Anglian farmers are being encouraged to explore investment opportunities further afield in Romania.
Brown and Co, a rural agency with offices across Norfolk as well as in eastern Europe, has outlined the potential of buying land in the country whose economy grew by an estimated 4.1pc in 2019, and where low prices for land are on the rise.
It says values have increased in Ialomita County near Bucharest by an average of 16pc between 2014 and 2019, with the largest parcels of land growing at 23pc per year during that period.
Adam Oliver, partner in the firm's office base in Romania, said the country had the potential to mirror the strong growth of the agricultural land market in Poland during the last decade.
The company is organising a four-day fact-finding tour to Romania in Spring 2020 to give potential investors some background and practical experience relating to agri-business and land investments.
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Mr Oliver said: "The Romania land market continues to develop from a very low starting point. The country is now the leading exporter of wheat and maize from all EU countries.
"Productivity gains in terms of improved seed, fertiliser and crop protection plus improvements in management and access to capital are all driving returns.
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"As the market develops, variability increases, both between regions and between parcel sizes and soil quality. Small, fragmented parcels have increased at 6pc per annum since 2014, larger parcel sizes have increased at 23pc per annum since 2014. The average is 16pc annual growth since 2014.
"It is also perhaps interesting to note that the average land price (Euro 5,331) is where Poland's land market was in 2008. Poland's current land price (subject to quality) is Euro 10,913-13,476 per hectare. Whilst clearly there are a number of differences between the markets - subject to political stability and economic development - Romania presents an interesting opportunity for properly researched and managed investments."
The investment tour will visit three large farming businesses, and aims to provide an insight into Romania's variety of agriculture, how it has developed and what the current market has to offer.
- For further information contact Adam Oliver on email@example.com or call (+48) 606 418 284.