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After Ukraine's historic liberalization of its land market on July 1, Ukrainians sold 155,000 hectares of land plots worth $200 million in six months, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy reported on Jan.13.
On average, 470 sales were made every day with an average price of $1,420 per hectare, according to Roman Neyter, agricultural expert at the Kyiv School of Economics.
“The land market continues to grow and develop,” said Neyter during an online discussion on Jan.12. “In December, we saw a record number of transactions, over 1,000 per day.”
After years of trying to get off the list of the last six countries where land sales are still banned – including North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba – Ukraine lifted its 20-year moratorium only last summer.
The busiest sales day was on Deс. 23, when nearly 3,200 hectares of land were sold in 1,190 different deals.
The most active sales hotspots were Kharkiv, Kherson, and Kirovohrad oblasts.
Of Ukraine's 42 million hectares of farmland, 0.3% has been sold since July. In developed countries, where the land market is stable, the annual sale rate ranges from 1% to 1.5%.
“Next year we will be able to reach the figure that developed countries have,” Neyter forecasted.
The liberalisation of the land market was criticized by some opposition parties, including the pro-Kremlin Opposition Platform- For Life, who said that land would be sold for a fraction of its true worth.
However, officials disagree with this assessment.
“We don’t see any protests and no one died (from this decision),” said Anatoliy Miroshnychenko, first deputy head of the state land registry agency.
The official also noted that the ban on sales to foreigners until 2024 should be lifted amid growing demand for Ukrainian land.
“At the very least, Ukraine should allow EU citizens into our land market so that they invest,” said Miroshnychenko.