Ukraine possesses 1st largest in Europe and 9th largest in the world quantity of arable land. Since 2001 a moratorium on the sale of agricultural land has been in force in Ukraine. Among European countries, the sale of agricultural land is prohibited only in Ukraine and Belarus. There is no such prohibition in other European countries.

Every year, thousands of hectares of land are escheated to the state. According to the research presented by the World Bank in the framework of the research project "Monitoring of Land Relations", in 2017 in Ukraine 6,537 thousand land plots with a total area of 25,072 thousand hectares of land is recognized as subject to escheat. These lands, due to the absence of heirs by will or by law, became the property of territorial communities by court decisions.

The issue of extending or lifting the land sale moratorium was discussed during the talk show "The Wall" on a TV channel "112.Ukraine".

The Head of the Ukrainian Agrarian Association Maryan Zablotskyy expressed his opinion on this issue, "Of course, the moratorium should be abolished. We cannot permanently stay in the company of such countries as Cuba and Venezuela."

"The land under moratorium today is owned by 6,700,000 Ukrainians. And now we are not discussing something that belongs to us, but we are discussing what belongs to these people. The average age of the owners of this land is 50 years - mostly elderly people. When we discuss this issue, let us literally imagine an elderly person living in the village. And we are discussing whether to allow him or her to sell the land, or to ban it further. "

Asked by journalists as a representative of the team of the President of Ukraine V. Zelensky how realistic it is to introduce the open land market next year, Maryan Zablotskyy replied:

"It is very difficult to introduce the land market quickly. Because, unfortunately, problems with registers of property rights and with the State Land Cadastre have not been resolved until this point. Today it is possible to come to the State Land Cadastre and register two similar property rights for the same land plot. The register works in such a way that no internal mechanism is triggered that would announce that the ownership of this land has already been registered."

"I spoke to many representatives of agricultural industry. Everybody is very afraid that for a number of reasons, agricultural efficiency will decline. On average, one 60-hectare Ukrainian field is split between 12 owners. Agricultural businesses fear that if one owner sells his land, it will create significant costs for all other owners. Even the baseline calculations I have seen show that the number of diesel needed for tillage is increasing two to three times. And we import it all the time, so it is a serious economic loss."

In discussion of why most of relevant agricultural laws were not passed during the term of the VIIIth Parliament, Maryan Zablotskyy voiced his opinion:

"There is a very good explanation as to why these laws are not being considered, why we have only bad registers... Because all the problems associated with these registers are problems of an ordinary common citizen. As soon as such schemes begin to affect the MPs, they immediately come and sort them out. If you look at the MPs’ electronic declarations, you can see a lot of land there. Someone bought, someone sold a plot of land. Everyone knows the elite village of Kozyn near Kyiv. For example, MP Lyashko bought land there. Why someone can buy land and others can not. Apparently, the current elites don’t have enough incentives. It may be necessary to impose a moratorium on their elite land so that it cannot be bought or sold and stop the preying on the slopes of the Dnipro. And then will come the incentive to solve the land cadastre problems."

In the concluding part of the discussion Maryan Zablotskyy noted:

"We are already preparing bills that eliminate corruption schemes upon the free transfer of agricultural land, strengthen the land cadastre, solve the problem of defense land. In the future, we hope to eliminate the StateGeoCadastre, passing the right to dispose of land on to the local level. Because now Kyiv officials are dictating who should dispose of the state land. Such decisions should be made only by village and settlement councils."

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