Fact Check: Romania Will NOT Stop Producing Food In Great Brăila Island Because Of Regenerative Agriculture

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Romania Will NOT Stop Producing Food In Great Brăila Island Because Of Regenerative Agriculture Improves Crops

Will an international partnership on regenerative agriculture result in 55,000 hectares of barren land in Romania that will no longer produce food? No, that's not true: The regenerative agriculture program in Romania's Great Braila Island is meant to restore its resources rather than deplete them by capturing and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, increasing farm biodiversity and improving water management.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok on December 15, 2023, under the title (translated from Romanian to English by Lead Stories staff):

We're giving up 55,000 hectares because this is what the globalists want. We will import food, we won't produce anything anymore.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

TikTok screenshot

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Dec 19 08:14:26 2023 UTC)

"Romania will start the experiment that I was telling you about," the person speaking in the video says (as translated), adding that because of regenerative agriculture -- an approach to farming that aims to restore and enhance farm ecosystems -- the land will slowly become barren, and the country will stop producing food "because this is what the EU wants."

This is false. Regenerative agriculture aims to address the climate crisis with practices that lead to more carbon "sequestration" (the capturing, removal and storage of carbon dioxide from the earth's atmosphere) and help make farmland more resilient, with other benefits such as improved water retention, helping biodiversity and reduced erosion. The purpose is to feed the population more sustainably, not to stop producing food.

Al Dahra, a multinational agribusiness holding that specializes in the cultivation, production and marketing of fodder and staple food products, and Agreena, the creator of a soil carbon platform for farmers to support the transition to regenerative agriculture through finance and technology, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on December 10, 2023, at COP28, the United Nations annual conference global climate change. The partnership is aimed at the transition to regenerative agriculture of Great Braila Island, which is considered the European Union's largest arable farm, with more than 55,000 hectares (136,000 acres) of arable land.

Al Dahra has owned the Romanian farm since 2018, when the investment fund took over Agricost Brăila, the largest company operating in agriculture in Romania. Since then, it has invested in technology, irrigation and in increasing alfalfa's storage capacity, among other things. Most of the crops are exported to other countries because the Romanian market cannot absorb them, according to businessman Constantin Duluţe, a minority shareholder at Agricost. Still, some of them, such as 30 percent of alfalfa and 20 percent of the wheat production, are kept in Romania.

As part of the new program, the Romanian farm will implement a range of regenerative agriculture practices, according to Agreena, such as optimal use of cover crops and reduced soil disturbance, moving away from conventional farming practices and quantifying the farm's greenhouse gas reductions and CO2 removal.

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  Lead Stories Staff

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.

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