Case study 8: Romania: Diversification of cereal-based rotations under adverse conditions

Cluster 2: Crop diversification under adverse conditions

Romania is not generating yields in correspondence to its rather good soils. The intention of the case study is to assess whether a longer rotation, especially with leguminous crops, can help improve yields at reasonable costs for both economics and environment.

What are the main problems underlying the emergence of the case study?
Romania is not generating yields corresponding to its rather good and deep soil, with high organic matter content. The weather conditions cannot always explain this yield gap compared to other European countries. Crop rotation is usually short (winter wheat, corn, rapeseed, sunflower), and can be even shorter. The need for longer rotations with crop diversification seems obvious, especially with leguminous.
The intention of the case study is to assess whether a longer rotation would help improve yields at a reasonable cost economically and environmentally.

How is the problem addressed and which actors are involved?
Farmers have been doing independent experimentations (intercropping, no-till, direct sowing and others) on sustainable farming for nearly 10 years. The AIDER association was assigned three years ago to gather the experiences from the trial, share, and disseminate their case studies and good practices and implement new approaches.
The majority of actors are farmers. AIDER also gets support (in the form of know-how, testing plots) from the seed companies, R & D teams, and by monitoring trials. Few consulting companies are also involved.

Solution investigated
At AIDER’s level, the case study shall assess the agronomical benefits (and their economic impact) of a more diversified crop rotation. EuroConsultant Romania is expected to provide a market study and details on processing and pricing for the new crop products.

Expected outcome
A deeper understanding on how those new crop products can be valued since there does not seem to be a market in Romania (being the main barrier for farmers).

Relevance for the DiverIMPACTS goals
A large scale implantation will only happen if DiverIMPACTS can prove a financial benefit to crop diversification.
AIDER seeks to share the experience and good practices with other case studies from European countries to benefit from the various situations and broader contexts.


  • Alina Petrea, AIDER, case study leader
  • Pascal Parache, AIDER, case study monitor