FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

LANDNET workshop focuses on land banking and land consolidation issues

©FAO/Cristiano Minichiello

20/09/2023 , İstanbul

The fourteenth International LANDNET Workshop took place from 5 to 7 September 2023 in Istanbul. Organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (DSI) and the General Directorate of Agrarian Reform (GDAR) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Türkiye, the workshop brought together approximately 100 participants from around 30 countries, mostly from Europe and Central Asia. 

The workshop was organized as part of the project “Enhancing agricultural land market development to address land abandonment and improve land consolidation procedures,” implemented under the FAO–Türkiye Partnership Programme on Food and Agriculture (FTPPII). The project supports the development of institutional capacity to implement land banking and land consolidation and to facilitate land market development in Türkiye, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan.

The main objectives of this year’s LANDNET workshop were to:
• present and discuss lessons learned from the implementation of land consolidation in Türkiye and the need for land banking;
• present and discuss new developments on land consolidation, including related to the potential for multi-purpose land consolidation in Eastern Europe;
• discuss policy options to address land abandonment and develop agricultural land markets.

In his opening remarks to the workshop, Morten Hartvigsen, FAO Land Tenure Officer, explained that the recent multiple crises had underscored the connection between land tenure and food security. He emphasized the importance of the workshop for sharing good practices and experiences between countries in Europe and Central Asia related to land consolidation, land banking, state land management, addressing land abandonment and land market development. 

On behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Türkiye, Sinan Demirbaş, Head of Department of Land Consolidation and Infrastructure Development Services of DSI, highlighted the opportunities provided by the LANDNET technical network for sharing the experiences of countries in the region. He also pointed out the importance of sustainable land utilization for food security, as underlined by the recent COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine. 

During the two-day workshop, technical sessions gave participants a forum to debate issues related to land consolidation, including an FAO initiative on capacity development, the need for land banking in Türkiye and tools to address land abandonment.

A field visit to the Yenişehir land consolidation project area in Bursa Province on 6 September provided the workshop participants with a practical example of land consolidation in Türkiye. The project area covers 16 000 hectares, within which are 27 villages that have benefited from land consolidation carried out simultaneously with the installation of a modern irrigation system and the construction of access roads. These improvements have enabled farmers to engage more efficiently in agricultural production. 


LANDNET is a growing regional technical network of land professionals mainly from European and Central Asian countries, which is expected to expand further through the FAO Regional Technical Platform on Green Agriculture. Working under the initiative of FAO, members have been meeting regularly since 2002 to exchange developments and good practices on land consolidation, land banking and land market development.