05 May 1998
Ukraine agriculture hurt by land reform disputes
VEHEMENT opposition to land ownership by communist politicians and some farm bosses in the Ukraine is holding back an industry that should be thriving.
Agriculture in the Ukraine is in a chronic state, reports the Financial Times. Production has fallen 80% in 10 years, dairy herds have halved since 1991 and poultry stocks have declined by 70%. Up to 80% of farms are lossmakers and wages are in arrears in agriculture more than any sector of the economy.
Land reform has proved the most tricky of political issues after 70 years of communism, and there are no signs of a quick and easy resolution on this front.
Eric Howell, manager of a land privatisation project sponsored by the World Banks International Finance Corporation, said the Ukraines fertile black earth should make it an agricultural powerhouse but the government was artificially keeping it down.
- Financial Times 05/05/98 page V (Ukraine survey)