Contradictions of the land reform in Ukraine's agrarian sector in the context of the world practice
Economy and Forecasting, 2016, issue 2, 145-156
Analysis of land reforms that have occurred in the world during the last century, leads to an important conclusion: land relations in the agricultural sector are not seen as a self-sufficient economic and legal category, but as a foundation for the whole agricultural policy. The international science and practice recognize, as the main analytical tool and method for the development of agricultural policies worldwide, the concept of agricultural multifunctionality. The multiple (economic, social and environmental) purpose of agriculture is ensured by adequate principles of land relations. The second "foundation" of the land reforms are the features of the agricultural land as a basis of agrobiocenosis, which is a complex natural and economic system, whose efficient management can be performed professionally trained people who have a direct relationship with the object of management. The above mentioned arguments together necessitate a specific approach to the distribution and use of agricultural land and selection of the type of economic management that would meet the purpose and characteristics of agricultural land. In the international legislative practice, such approaches include: the legal codification of the right to purchase (lease) of an agricultural plot areas for individuals residing in the territory where the plot is located; the obligation to work directly on the farm; qualification requirements for buyers (tenants) of land; prohibition or restriction to purchase (lease) land for the foreigners; codification of the minimum and maximum sizes of farms; preferential loans for the purchase of land by farmers; introduction of incentives for creating associations of small land owners (tenants) for joint cultivation of land; regulation of pricing and defining the sizes of the rent payment and so on. In Ukraine the land reform has virtually exhausted itself with the distribution of and privatization of land plots (shares). The reformers are unwilling to recognize either the multi-purpose character of the agriculture and land as its basic element, or the importance of individual (family, cooperative) type of agrarian management, which as proven by the international practice, is the most suitable for agriculture. Such an actitud, together with the absence of the rules of the turnover of agricultural land and other regulations in land use, has caused a series of economic, social and environmental issues that are becoming more increasingly dangerous for our society. Lack of restrictions on land use caused a rapid formation of two opposite and equally harmful to the village land use models: the latifundy-oligarchic and the parcel ones. Concentration hundreds of thousands of hectares of land in the agri-industrial-financial companies, their transition to monocrop production crowded out about 2 million people from the agriculture. Abandonment of crop rotation, use of surface technologies, lack of substitution of the nutrients taken from the soil with the harvest (in order to increase profits) all have caused a degradation of soils and their reduced fertility. The soil scientists confirm that the agroecological situation in Ukraine is in a pre-crisis state. Against that background, shady deals with land, and raiding are thriving. Small farms have become neglected by the state as unpromising and can hardly provide, in the competitive environment, an efficient land-use and effective employment of their members. The situation requires, before the expiration of the moratorium on sale of agricultural land, to institutionalize the rules for their turnover and use based on international, especially Western experience, in order to overcome the above mentioned and other negative phenomena that have become deeply rooted in the "fabric" of land relations in the domestic agricultural sector.
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