Land Tenure Journal, No 2 (2012)

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Experiences with land reform and land consolidation in Moldova

Morten Hartvigsen, Maxim Gorgan, David Palmer

Abstract


Land privatization in the Republic of Moldova was made feasible through the adoption of the Land Code in 1991. The land reform and post-land reform development has resulted in a polarized agricultural structure with an average land holding of 1.56 hectares, typically distributed in 3-4 parcels. In many cases the fragmentation of land parcels has prevented the land market from developing.
As a result of increasing political awareness of the problems, in 2004 the Government of Moldova requested assistance from the World Bank to address the situation. This led to a feasibility study and ultimately to the implementation of land consolidation in six pilot villages; this was then scaled up to an additional 40 villages.
The six pilots were implemented during 2007-2009. In total, more than 7 000 landowners and almost 27 000 agricultural parcels were identified in the six pilot villages. Of these more than 2 900 (40 percent) participated in the project through land transactions. The scheme was completely voluntary.
During 2009-2010, the activity was scaled up with 40 new projects. A total of 7 520 hectares changed ownership, and around 2 600 hectares were transferred through long-term leases. About 25 percent (12 795) of all owners participated in the project.
In 2010, the Government of Moldova requested FAO to support the preparation of a national land consolidation strategy. The plan is for this strategy to be implemented through a national land consolidation programme. In January 2013 it was expected that the land consolidation strategy would be adopted by the Government in mid-2013 as part of a general strategy for agriculture and rural development.


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