“A well-off peasant is a threat to corrupted officials” – Roman Semenukha

Once again, the moratorium on the sale of agricultural lands was not lifted. MPs prolonged the ban.

The moratorium has been in effect for 18 years. Over this time, 1.4 million owners of land shares have died – people have not exercised their rights, and in 400 thousand cases their land has not been inherited by relatives.

“A wealthy peasant is a threat to corrupt officials. It is because of the fear of appearance of an economically independent middle class of Ukrainians that, over the years of independence, there has not been a qualitative legislative base for the opening of the land market,” said Roman Semenukha. “Over 20 years, neither the government nor the parliament has done anything to launch at least a phased opening of the market.

Although it makes sense to start with the land in state ownership. They are either used inefficiently or are leased for a song. There is 10.4 million hectares of such lands.”

According to experts, the state can receive almost $12.5 billion from the sale of half of these lands and another $52.5 million annually from leasing the second half.

But the market remains closed. According to the Ukrainian Club of Agrarian Business, in 2016, Ukrainians leased more than 20,000 hectares of land for 50 years.

“Fifty years is a long term. In fact, it is not rent, but a sale for a song,” said Roman Semenukha.

According to the Centre for Economic Strategy, the effectiveness of the Ukrainian land has fallen critically – it is three times lower than in Europe.

Soil erosion is observed on 10 million hectares of arable land. The reason is in inefficient use, as well as a deliberate depletion of land by leaseholders.

“All the deputies who have been supporting the extension of the moratorium throughout all these years are no different from the Bolsheviks, who deprived Ukrainians of the right to their land 100 years ago. All those who oppose the market are against peasants and farmers,” summed up MP Roman Semenukha.

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