Government agrarian reform will entail buying-up of lands for next to nothing – Ivan Miroshnichenko

The introduction of a land market without a transitional period entails a threat of its monopolization and buying-out of land from citizens at underestimated prices. This was reported by a People’s Deputy, member of the “Samopomich” Union faction, member of the Committee on Agrarian Policy, Ivan Miroshnichenko, commenting on the appeal of the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, to sell 1 million hectares of land under the agrarian reform.

“At this stage the market opening is impossible. Despite the large-scale redistribution, the land reform launched in the early ’90s did not solve the main problem, due to which the market cannot be introduced. The country failed to create conditions and opportunities for the land-owners (owing land shares, land for personal farming) to work independently in the agricultural sector. The absence of state mechanisms of project financing and preferential crediting only makes people sell their lands,” said the MP.

“To make sure that when the market is opened the land parcels are not just bought out from the citizens, moreover at low prices, now it is necessary to introduce effective government programs to support financially, to provide subsidies, soft loans primarily aimed at the creation of small farms , family farms for the land owners to have equal opportunities to realize their projects and to become competitive and effective owners of their land,” said the parliamentarian.

“We are for the step-by-step introduction of the land market. The first step presupposes the introduction of effective regulatory mechanisms for the development of the agricultural land lease market. It should foresee the possibility of selling the leasehold rights and of the emphyteusis, as well as the pledge (mortgage).

The second step is to carry out a fair assessment of agricultural lands, to create equal opportunities for the Ukrainian landowners compared to other potential participants in the land market through the implementation of effective financial support mechanisms (national programs, preferential loans) which are aimed at creating competitive small farms, family farms. To issue land bonds to be placed on the financial markets, under the provision of state agricultural lands for attraction of investments.

The third phase provides for the introduction of a full-fledged land market with  private agricultural lands, with set restrictions and precautions necessary to protect the interests of Ukrainian landowners,” the MP explained his position

Ivan Miroshnichenko
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Agricultural policy