Rural Property Rights in Ukraine
desk study completed by Maksym Fedorchenko and Alex Yanov, Center for Land Reform Policy in Ukraine, in May 2010
Ownership of rural land
What landholdings mean to rural landholders; the extent to which rural landholdings are something of value or burden for landholders; the distribution of land ownership between men, women; joint ownership based on gender; and how landholdings are distributed between members of the community.
Definition of the land
What kind of knowledge do rural landholders have about their properties; do they know where their land is located, either approximately or exactly; is there a need for professional or other assistance in locating land parcels; and the extent which rural landholders need the assistance of a surveyor or government official to identify the location of their land. Further, the degree to which rural landholders know who owns the land adjacent to their own parcels.
Access to and use of land
How rural landholders use their land or have someone else use it; the extent to which rural landholders control the use of their land or others control its use; and what happens to the land (i.e., is it used productively, sitting idle, used for other inefficient purposes, used by another person, etc.?). In cases where the landholding is used by a third party, whether they pay the landholder to use the land; the level of bargaining power of landholders when they lease out land. Is there fair bargaining power between landholder and the lessee? Moreover, what the nature of the agreement between the landholder and the person using the land is, and whether it is part of a group agreement to use a larger area of land. The depth of the market for leasing land in rural areas - are there several potential lessees or users of land, or generally only one potential lessee or user. If there is only one or a small number of potential, what are the reasons for this situation?
Level of return for leasing out land
Whether the return is adequate or fair when compared to the value of the land; whether landholders would like to use the land themselves, but are obliged or forced to lease it out (and for what reasons); the extent to which landholders have the resources (labor, equipment, fertilizer, seed) to farm their land. Also, the decision making process within families (i.e., who makes the decisions about using or leasing out the land – the husband, wife or is it a joint decision?)
Transactions and credit
The extent which rural landholders want to sell their land, if were possible; the practical impact of the moratorium on the sale of agricultural land; and the extent to which rural landholders would like to use their land as security for loans.
Options for obtaining credit
The number of banks that provide credit, the rates for loans secured against property, and the term of the loan. Other options for obtaining credit for rural landholders, including the use of their homes as security for a loan, and the use for the credit money (consumption, investment or business opportunities).
Documents, security of tenure and understanding of right
The types and nature of documents (if any) showing the landholder’s ownership of the land; the extent to which people know the difference between different types of documents—the land share and the land title; the level of security that rural landholders feel in relation to their land (i.e., whether they feel that they really own it, that they can use it, exclude other people from it, and that if there are any disputes they can go to court to protect their land rights); the degree to which rural landholders think that the government or some other person could just come along and take it (if at all); and the level of knowledge and understanding of rural landholders about land rights, the sources of information, and whether they feel that they could easily and quickly enforce their rights. Also, whether rural landholders think that the government would help them to enforce their rights.
The scale of expropriation across the country, and the purposes of expropriation; the extent to which the government pays compensation or give another piece of land, and whether such compensation is considered by landholders to be fair; and the level of information on expropriation that is available to the public, and the means through which that information is available.
The level of taxation of rural landholders’ land, and the extent to which they meet their obligations to pay tax and can afford to do so; the attitude of rural landholders to paying tax – do they feel that they receive anything in return?; the mechanisms for recovering taxes on rural landholdings if the landholders do not pay and the extent to which the government actively pursues outstanding taxes; whether rural landholders would give up their land because due to the tax burden.
List of Annexes
Annex A Lease of Land Shares in Ukraine, 2001-2010
Annex B Inflation Rate in Ukraine, 1995-2009
Annex C Land Lease Market Shares of Main Lessees of Land Shares, %
Annex D Ukrainian households as of January 1, 2010
E1: Share (%) of Households in Total Agrarian Output, 1990-2008;
E2: Production in Households and Agricultural Enterprises, %, 2008
Annex F Use of Agricultural Land in Ukraine, 2009 and 1990
G1: Farm Structures in Ukraine as of July 1, 2008;
G2: Landholdings of Farm Structures in Ukraine, as of December 31, 2008
Annex H Normative Value of Agricultural Land in Ukraine as of January 1, 2009
Annex J Land Tax for Owners of Land Shares, as of January 1, 2010
Annex K Availability of Machinery and Equipment in Rural Households, 204-2008
Annex L Average Areas and Normative Value of Land Shares, Minimal Legal and Actual Rent in Regions of Ukraine, as of January 1, 2010
Annex M Structure of Payment for Land (Land Tax plus Ground Rent) in 2004-2007
Annex N Payment for Land in Ukraine, 1992-2007
Annex O Privatization of Land Parcels by Citizens of Ukraine, 2001-2009
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