Americans are buying up Ukraine's agricultural lands
Ukraine's new land law, which lifted the moratorium on land sales, took effect on 1 July last year. The reform was requested by the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) in exchange for another loan package. Since then, almost a third of Ukrainie's agricultural lands have fallen into American hands, the Australian National Review reports. China has already purchased a decent share from Ukraine's rich and fertile lands. .
Black soil, a treasure
55 per cent of the whole territory of Ukraine is agricultural land, of the quality kind: the areas with a rich top soil have high agricultural value. For a long time, however, these areas were only offered for lease. Back in 2001, the Ukrainian government adopted a moratorium on the sale and purchase of land, which it extended ten times. The farmers who only had small, unprofitable lands preferred to rent them out. These small lands have thus become controlled by large agricultural companies that kept using and cultivating the valuable black soil for low rents.
The situation changed on 1 July 2021, when the moratorium was lifted, following pressure from the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF), which paved the way for selling the lands. The Zelensky government embarked on a process on land privatisation and made it possible for economic actors outside Ukraine to buy farmland. Prices quickly jumped from 2,500 to 10,000 dollars per acre, still a good deal considering the high quality of the land.
Zelensky’s wheelbarrow now in America’s hands
During the one year since the reform, three international consortia with US capital have become the largest buyers in Ukraine. According to the Australian National Review, these three multinationals have bought up a total of 17 million hectares of agricultural land, which represents 28 per cent, or almost a third, of all arable land. The three giants are Cargill, Dupont and Monsanto. “The Ukrainian government, acting as a puppet, has allowed three US companies to buy more farmland than there is in the whole of Italy,” the portal writes. They also say that Ukrainian land no longer belongs to Ukrainians.
Yet earlier, it was Volodymyr Zelensky himself to describe stories about the Chinese, Arabs and extra-terrestrials „wheel-barrowing” Ukrainian land as „horror stories.”
China has already secured its place
The United States is not the first to lay an eye on Ukrainian farmland. According to an article published by Wall Street Journal earlier, China already signed a half-century lease in 2013 for nine per cent of Ukraine’s prime farmland, or five per cent of the country’s total land area.
And just how good a deal it is to buy up agricultural land has already been established by George Soros. The billionaire said:
„I am convinced that one of the best investments of our time is agricultural land,” said Soros, who himself has bought large plots of land in the past, and many speculators have followed his example.
The role of Ukrainie’s agricultural lands is also key from a global food perspective, as Ukraine is a major agricultural exporter, accounting for 16 per cent of global maize supplies, and 12 per cent of wheat.