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Go East for good quality land

Europeans looking for their off-grid bug-out location could consider Hungary and Romania – farmland prices there are still very low.

In neigbouring Austria a growing army of farmers are buying land in the two relatively poor former members of the Eastern bloc.  At the moment they have the market pretty well to themselves.

Harald Strassner from Pöttsching, a consultant for Austrian investors looking for Romanian land said those that have so far taken the move have had only positive results.

Strassner is himself an organic farmer who for several years has had land in Hungary and now together with other farmers in Burgenland has expanded to buy land in Romania.

He currently manages 630 hectares of land in south-west Romania.  He said it was an exciting challenge and Romania was absolutely safe for people hoping to invest there. He said: “The bureaucracy is difficult and they certainly aren’t organised, but everything is quite possible.”

He is working together with a Romanian partner Vlad Nicula who said: “We are learning a lot from each other.”

Since it was privatised in the 1990s Romanian agriculture has been organised on a very small scale, with around 10 million hectares of agricultural land mainly in smallholdings and with only about half currently being used.

Even the relatively good quality farming land works out extremely cheap.  And that is attractive for investors, said Strassner.

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