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FAO: Land reform in Ukraine should be democratic, community-driven

Photo: ©FAO/Kateryna Chechel

Ukraine has been working on priorities for dealing with land consolidation, and FAO, through a project finishing this year, has used international good practice to help with that.

This week in Ukraine, FAO informed the Ministry for Agrarian Policy and Food and the State Service for Geodesy, Cartography and Cadastre (State Geo Cadastre) on the results of its review of the updated draft law on land consolidation, which was prepared by State Geo Cadastre based on FAO’s 2017 assessment of Ukraine’s legal framework.

In 2017, FAO reviewed a first draft law on land consolidation and provided legal recommendations. In 2018, the second draft law was prepared by State Geo Cadastre.

In its report, FAO recommends that the new legislation be fully aligned with the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security and with international best practice, said Margret Vidar, a legal officer at FAO headquarters in Rome.

“FAO finds that the second draft law is significantly improved compared with the first draft, but further improvement is still needed,” Vidar said.

Another important consideration was developed as a result of a feasibility study conducted in two potential pilot areas in Kyiv and Kherson regions. The study documented the interest of landowners and farmers in broad-based land consolidation and the need for land consolidation in general, especially in connection with investments in agricultural infrastructure.

FAO experts strongly believe that significant capacity-building efforts will be needed when the national land consolidation programme is launched after the opening of the agricultural land market. This also includes the education of future land consolidation professionals in the universities.

Finally, FAO recommends that the process should be participatory, democratic and community-driven, not only in concept but also in practice. The Organization’s report states the need to promote transparency and social stability. In Western Europe, many communities that have experienced land consolidation show increased productivity and competitiveness among farms.

As a final step within the current project, FAO has prepared a concept note for a donor-funded project to further support the introduction of land consolidation in Ukraine when the agricultural land market is opened.

19 December 2018, Kyiv, Ukraine

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