After the fall of communism in 1989 the importance of horticulture decreased. Many state farms have ceased operations or are split. Instead of being an exporting country, Romania became an importer of fruits and vegetables. Partly because of the increasing energy costs the acreage of greenhouses went down from 3500 ha to 500 ha.
Often vegetables and fruits are grown on very small farms. They are marketed close by and on local markets. Because of the high VAT (24%) tax-evasion is high. Because of this the supermarkets cannot get sufficient, reliable and regular supply of home grown fruits and vegetables. They import up to 60% from i.a. Turkey, Italy and The Netherlands. But there is a growing demand from the Romanian citizens for products from Romanian origin. Supermarkets and grower groups are gradually developing programs for domestic supply. At the mean time in politics is being spoken about lowering the VAT for vegetables and fruits, like it was done last year for bread.
These two, the growing demand for local products and a lower VAT offers new opportunities for horticulture in Romania.