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Ukraine Breakfast Debate: What impulses are being set by the land reform?


A small revolution has taken place in Ukrainian agriculture in 2021: The new land reform makes it possible to trade land that had been under lock and key for two decades. A study shows first findings on the effects on the land market.

More than 60 per cent of Ukraine's territory consists of agricultural land. Because much of the land was under a moratorium from 2001 to 2021, Ukrainian landowners and farmers were not able to trade their land until recently. Only the land reform in Ukraine has changed this. The impact of land reform on landowners and agriculture in Ukraine was the topic of our Ukraine breakfast discussion.

The study "Land market in Ukraine" offers first empirical findings on the situation of farmers. The surveys show a lack of expert information on the development of the land market: less than 7% of the respondents relied on the advice of experts to estimate the value of their land. The majority relied on their own assessment (40%) or consulted neighbours and acquaintances (37%). In addition, the government's information campaign on land reform is insufficient and not very effective due to a lack of trust among the population.

For smaller farms, the reform offers the possibility to use land as collateral for loans and thus raise the capital to modernise their own farms. From 2024, legal entities from Ukraine will be able to acquire land. This will most likely have a positive effect on the revival of the land market and land prices. Against this backdrop, however, further research is needed on the impulses that lead farmers to sell their land. In particular, the rural exodus is a major challenge in Ukraine in view of the generational change.

The Ukraine breakfast debate also addressed the question of how Germany and its European partners can support this process. Supporting personnel and expertise offers the greatest opportunities here: government institutions and the research community would have to train and retain specialised personnel in order to develop an institutional memory.

Find the whole study by the Centre for Applied Research (CPD, Kyiv) here: "Land market in Ukraine"
The study was prepared by the Centre for Applied Research (Kyiv) with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

The 23rd Ukraine Breakfast Debate took place under the title "Ukraine’s land reform: New impulses for agriculture and landowners" in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Bruno Hamm-Pütt from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation gave a welcome address. Our speakers were Andriy Karakuts from the Centre for Applied Research (CPD, Kyiv) and Oleg Nivievskyi and Roman Neyter from the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE). The event was moderated by our colleague Ljudmyla Melnyk.

The Ukraine Breakfast Debates take place within the framework of the project "German-Ukrainian Researchers Network" (GURN 2) and are funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

Team & authors

About the GURN – German Ukrainian Researchers Network project: The cooperation between think tanks and politics are strengthened. GURN focuses on knowledge transfer, capacity building and bilateral dialogue. Current developments and German-Ukrainian relations are discussed in a variety of formats.

Image copyright: IEP