Romania is located at the crossroads of central and southeastern Europe. With a population of over 21.5 million people, it has the 7th largest population and is the 9th largest country in the European Union. Romania formed when the territories of Transylvania, Bukovina and Bessarabia united at the end of World War I. With partial occupation by the Soviet Union, the country became a socialist republic and member of the Warsaw Pact until the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989. Since, Romania has become a stable democracy and marked by its induction into NATO in 2004 and the European Union in 2007.
As of the late 2000s, 43 percent of Romania’s population lived in rural areas and almost 10 percent of the population lived in absolute poverty. Consequently, the challenge of getting produce to markets as created a negative trend in livestock and farms while the demand for agricultural products in on the rise. Heifer’s work in Romania focuses primarily on advocating for small farmers and linking them to markets in need of their products.
Heifer's Work in Romania
Heifer in Romania was established in 1991 and approved the first project, “Angora Goat Production on Family Farms in Romania”, in 1992. Five years later, in 1997, Heifer Romania office opened. Since then, Heifer International has operated an authorized office in Romania and has spread its activity all over Romania and the neighboring countries of Moldova (since 2002) and Bulgaria (since 2007). Heifer Romania Country Program operates through the legally registered Romanian foundation “Fundatia Heifer Project pentru Romania”. Presently Heifer Romania has 40 historical and 20 active projects, mainly characterized by diversity.
Key Services Heifer Provides:
Sustainable agricultural production: Improving the environment and promoting organic agriculture; Building durable connections between groups formed by different cultural, ethnic and religious groups
Post-harvest management and processing: Project monitoring and evaluation
Market development: The transition from a communist system to a free market economy; Micro-credit loans; Agrotourism
Technology: Artificial insemination projects
Nutrition: Milk for Orphans Program
See where Heifer is working around the world to end hunger.
The second Irish airlift committed for Heifer Romania’s Milk for Orphans Project landed successfully at the Timisoara airport on January 17th.
Salajan Maria Marius, 75, tends to Mendruta, a Romanian Spotted Cow her son, Salajan Marius, received through Heifer, on their family farm in the village of Giurtelecul Simleului, Romania.
Of the 66 Irish heifers that landed one month ago in Romania, 45 were distributed yesterday, March 8th, for International women’s Day as Heifer gifts to 45 women from Rasca, Cluj County.
Students from Purdue University and Banat Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine University (Romania) 2010
Dr. Mark Russell, along with other faculty from Purdue’s Agronomy Department, co-led a class called “Exploring International Animal Industries” on a visit to Romania.