Moldovans - Economy

Previously Moldova produced grain, grapes, and fruit for the market, whereas sunflower seeds and maize were mainly for home consumption; maize meal mush, the traditional mamaliga, was often eaten instead of bread. The government of Romania introduced agrarian reform by reducing large estates to make more land available to peasants. Soon the peasant allotments became shredded into thousands of narrow ribbons because of inheritance and the dowries of daughters. Peasants struggled in a tangle of dues and taxes and some of them abandoned their homes and looked for employment in cities. Others migrated to the United States. Under Soviet rule, private property was abolished and replaced by state and collective farms. Large-scale mechanized farming has been introduced. The Communists claimed to have increased livestock herds and to have augmented the production of grain, grapes, fruit, vegetables, sugar beets, sunflower, and maize. An optimistic plan for 1990 claimed a harvest of nearly 1.5 million tons of vegetables, 1.3 million tons of grapes, and 1.7 million tons of fruit and berries. The plowed area of Moldova is only 0.5 percent of the plowed area of former Soviet Union, but it grows approximately 25 percent of the area's grapes, and nearly 9 percent of the vegetables. Plum brandy is very popular among the Moldovans. The first large hydropower station on the Dniester was completed at Dubossary, sending energy to Kishinyov, Orgeev, Grigoriopol, Tiraspol, and Dubossary.

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