World Bank: Lifting the Moratorium on the Sale of Land Will “Restart” Ukraine’s Economy

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The moratorium on the sale of land of agricultural value costs the economy of Ukraine billions of dollars of lost productivity and contributions to the budget.

This was stated in an interview to Bloomberg by Satu Kahkonen, the director of the World Bank for Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova.

“The unconditional advantages of the Ukrainian economy aren’t being realised because of the moratorium. The agricultural sector – created at the time of the Soviet Union, which is the leader in the export of sunflower oil, now can’t develop and restrict corruption,” said Kahkonen.

She noted that nearly 6.9 million land owners (and this is every 6th Ukrainian) receive the lowest rent for land in Europe, despite the fact that the quality of Ukrainian soil is one of the best in the world.

In the material it is said that the government is afraid of risking its reputation on the eve of elections in 2019, therefore they don’t establish rules for the sale of land.

The second reason is the lobbyism of some officials and businessmen who use the “status quo” on the ground for the opaque use of agricultural land for low rent.

“Politicians see the thesis about the moratorium on ‘defending farmers’ as a way of obtaining selective dividends,” said Maksim Martynyuk, the first deputy minister of agrarian policy.

“The people are satisfied with the myths about the risks of cancelling the moratorium and are afraid of mistakes, like during privatisation in the 1990’s,” he added.

The World Bank predicts that the prices for the sale of land will grow to $3,000-3,500 per hectare in comparison with the $1,000-1,500 that it now is.

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