Blessed with highly fertile chernozem, or black soil, Ukraine was once the breadbasket of Europe. But the country is only now recovering from almost a century of mismanagement, having suffered through Stalin’s brutal collectivization process, the resulting famine, Nazi occupation, and decades of inefficient and unproductive collective farming.

Since 1990, Landesa has anticipated and seized opportunities to help countries of the former Soviet Union (FSU) break-up collective farms, give former collective farm workers secure and marketable land rights, and support family farming.

Landesa first conducted rural fieldwork in Ukraine in 1992, and since 2000 has been heavily involved in Ukrainian land reform.

Past programs include:

Legal aid centers.

Landesa helped design and establish a network of legal aid centers under the ULTI project. This network is modeled after legal aid centers developed earlier by Landesa in Russia and Moldova. The centers provide legal and economic information, and legal representation, to new landowners who are seeking to use their land rights in the best way possible to help themselves and their families. At this point legal aid centers operate in every one of Ukraine’s 25 provinces, and tens of thousands of people have had important legal issues regarding the use and protection of their newfound land rights addressed and resolved.

Ukraine land titling initiative.

Partnered with Chemonics and USAID.

Landesa served as legal advisor on a project to privatize 1.8 million parcels of agricultural land and 13,500 parcels of non-agricultural land. Activities included preparation of project work plan, an ongoing comprehensive legal review and analysis of Ukrainian land legislation (including the registration law, leasing laws, land markets laws, compulsory acquisition laws, delimitation of state land law, and the cadastre law) and its impact on project activities, and coordinating the establishment of a series of legal aid centers staffed by Ukrainian attorneys. June 2001 to September 2006.

Legal and policy advice on Ukrainian Land Code.

Partnered with the World Bank, Landesa consulted on the drafting of the Ukrainian Land Code. This code was meant to clearly and concretely provide for private rights to own, use, and carry out land transactions. In addition, the code defined and limited the government’s role as a regulator of private rights, and supporter and protector of the rights to agricultural land. May 2000 to December 2000.

Field research and report on the prospects for agricultural reform in Ukraine.

Partnered with RONCO Consulting Corporation and USAID, Landesa conducted fieldwork to assess the political feasibility for carrying out meaningful land privatization and breaking up former collective farms into new commercially viable private farms that either own their own land or lease land from private individuals at fair market rates. September 1998 to October 1998.

Implementation of a technical assistance program to facilitate the development of land markets in Ukraine.

Partnered USAID.

Landesa consulted on policy, legal, and the regulatory environment of land privatization in Ukraine. May 1995 to July 1995.

Ukraine agricultural sector review.

The World Bank.

Landesa consulted on land reform and farm reorganization for an agricultural sector review. October 1992 to December 1992.