The EU-funded twinning project “Assistance in the development of an open and transparent agricultural land market in Ukraine” officially kicked off on 9 September. This sector is particularly important for Ukraine as a country with great potential in the agricultural field.
Speaking at project’s opening, Anka Feldhusen, Deputy Head of German diplomatic mission to Ukraine, noted: “Agricultural land accounts for 69% of the country’s land area. The Ukrainian agricultural market, however, is still in a difficult and ambiguous situation.”
Despite the fact that Ukrainian agricultural policy has been conducted for more than 20 years, Ukraine still does not have its own market for agricultural lands. Following the signature of the Association Agreement, the government together with European experts has chances to settle this strategic field.
Enzo Damiani, Head of Sector for agriculture, food safety and land reform at the EU Delegation to Ukraine noted: “Article 404 of the Association Agreement stipulates that areas of cooperation in agriculture and rural development ought to be defined.”
One of EU’s principles of “open market” foresees equality, transparency and fair competition. The twinning project “Assistance in the development of an open and transparent agricultural land market in Ukraine” will work from January 2014 till September 2015 to implement this principle in Ukraine.
The Twinning project envisages effective cooperation in the development of an open and transparent agricultural policy attractive to new investors. Ukrainian and foreign experts will facilitate the introduction of new policy mechanisms at the local level (including the issue of privatization), as well as promote the spread of knowledge and practices in agricultural development. The project will also focus on environmental issues and on improving the level market’s competitiveness.
At the moment, after completing the analysis of Ukraine’s State Agency for Land Resources and examining respective legal aspects, European experts have formed their comments. A draft law aims at facilitating the functioning of Ukrainian farmers was developed based on them. According to the statement made by the project leader Nick Bosmans at the opening ceremony, the project’s main goal is not just to develop a new law but most importantly to simplify existing legislation in order to avoid duplication of tasks.
Artem Kadomskyi, the project leader from Ukrainian side and First Deputy Head of State Agency for Land Resources of Ukraine, stated that the developed draft laws will simplify the life of Ukrainian landholders. One of legislative changes relates to land lease. A person should pay a deposit to obtain a loan in Ukraine. The land, however, cannot be an object of such deposit according to Ukrainian legislation. Another direction of improvements is to simplify administrative services and provide information from land register directly via Internet.
Background information: Twinning Project “Assistance in development of an open and transparent market in Ukraine” is aimed at supporting Ukraine in the development of an open and transparent agricultural land market in line with the best EU practices. It is focused on improving the agricultural land market management, improving land administration in legal and institutional frameworks as well as increasing professional skills of staff.
This project is funded by the European Union. It is implemented by consortium of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Lithuania.
Duration: 2014-2015 (21 month)
EU contribution: €1.8 million