Agriculture expected to contribute more than 5 pct to GDP in 2009

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The agricultural sector might bring a contribution of 5 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2009, while taking into account the production figures so far and estimates for this autumn, Agriculture Minister Ilie Sarbu told.

‘For now, we cannot say exactly what will be the contribution of the agricultural sector to the GDP in 2009, but while taking into account the production of wheat this year (5.2 million tones), and with the autumn crops of corn and sunflower to be added, I estimate the sector may contribute by at least 5 percent to the GDP,’ Sarbu said.

In the opinion of the MAPDR official, the exact contribution of the sector to the GDP will be known not earlier than in the first quarter next year.
Last year, the agricultural sector contributed 7.1 percent to the GDP.

According to the data recently presented by the Agriculture Minister, the production of wheat stands at 5.228 million tones in 2009, plus 1 million representing the people’s production for their own consumption.

The Minister underlined that the 2009 production from agriculture will be enough to cover domestic consumption, although we do not know exactly the quality of the wheat crops yet.

The country’s necessary of wheat stands at 3 million tones (250,000 tonnes on a monthly basis), with another 500,000 tonnes of wheat to be used for procuring the seeds.

With regards to the quality of the wheat this year, general manager with the MAPDR Daniel Botanoiu has recently told Agerpres it will remain unknown until end-September.

On the other hand, the head of the League of Romanian Agricultural Producers (LAPAR) Adrian Radulescu said that the wheat crops this year did not exceed 4 million tones, although the officials from the Ministry announced more than 5.2 tonnes.

According to data from the MAPDR, 38.33 percent of the surface sowed with wheat, that is 2.23 million hectares, was affected in 2009 by the drought, with 2.62 percent having been also affected by other risk factors.

In 2008, the total production of grains in Romania exceeded 17 million tones, two times the 2007 figure, when the total production stood at 7.8 14 million tones.

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