11.10.2016 09:33

Land Moratorium is Prolonged.Victory or Treason?

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11.10.2016 09:33

The prolonging of the moratorium on sale of the agricultural land for one more year alone does not solve the problem of the Ukrainian farmers. Actually, it will just mean the extension of "convulsions". This is the conclusion of the Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation lawyers.

The main problem of Ukrainian farmers is that they do not trust the government. The reason for this is that all previous attempts to introduce sale of agricultural land hid some kind of "sceme". So the government should use this pause to prove the honesty of their intentions. It means that legal framework should be created which would protect farmers from any fraud, say the UAC lawyers.

Now the Ministry of Agrarian Policy is considering a draft law "On Agricultural Land Circulation". However, there are a number of points in it that need to be improved. For example, this law must protect the Ukrainian land from being bought up by foreigners. It also should determine the maximum amount of land that farmers can purchase as well as the customer priority etc.

The same applies to the draft law on perpetual lease (N 4010a) which also contains very dangerous items,say the experts. Acoording to this document any foreigner or any organisation can actually buy the right to lease land for 49 years without any restrictions. Futhermore, the farmer who sells this right is not garanteed the opportunity to get his land back.This way any foreign company, whether Saudy or Chinese, can get millions of hectares of Ukrainian black soil for 49 years,actually it can take it over.

Although, we all remember that after the break-down of the USSR when such countries as Poland, the Check Republic,Slovakia and others opened their land market they declared a 10-year moratorium on the right for foreigners to buy or rent land. But in Ukrainian draft law on land lease there are no similar restrictions.

Unfortunatelly,today Ukrainian farmers don't have enough money to compete with foreigners in buying land. So the foreigners might buy up all best fields, warn the lawyers.

What should be done first is to "grind" land legislation.The next step is to test new laws in one or several regions as a pilot project. And only after farmers make sure that the legal order of land sale suits them, the official start of this reform should be declared throughout the country.

Ukrainian farmers will definitely benefit from land market. So Ukraine will have to cancel the moratorium. Besides,only a few countries are left in the world where there is no ownership on land. Among them there is North Korea,Cuba, Belarus and Ukraine. All the other countries passed that stage long ago, add the UAC experts.


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