Batkivshchyna Party leader Yulia Tymoshenko believes that opening up the agricultural land market in is unacceptable under current circumstances and that Ukraine should follow the example of leading countries of the world and support the development of farms and small and medium-sized agricultural enterprises.
“Farms and small and medium-sized agricultural enterprises should receive the full support of the state to process raw materials grown on the land into finished products and to sell finished products, not raw materials. This is the most effective way to develop the agricultural sector. It will create millions of jobs, raise Ukrainian agriculture and create a middle class,” Yulia Tymoshenko said on the program “Right to Power” on channel 1+1.
According to the politician, there are only about 38,000 farms currently operating in Ukraine, but with proper state support there should be 2.5 million farms like in Poland.
“Otherwise, you can say the land is being used inefficiently – it does not provide jobs, does not brings profits and finished goods. The land should work for the people who live on it,” said the parliamentarian, adding that a priority component of state support for agrarians should be to provide long-term affordable loans at 1-2% per annum without collateral and backed by special risk insurance.
The politician believes that the agricultural land market should not be opened under current conditions because it will deprive Ukrainians of this valuable non-renewable resource. Yulia Tymoshenko recalled that in his election campaign, President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that popular rule should be exercised through an all-Ukrainian referendum, and that is why the answer to the question of opening the land market should be decided by the Ukrainian people through a referendum.
“According to various estimates, Ukraine has 42 million hectares of farmland, which accounts for 72% of the territory of Ukraine. Therefore, the President’s main duty is, after a deep public debate, to ask Ukrainians what to do with our land. The President has the right to declare a referendum on the people’s initiative,” she said.
The politician recalled that Batkivshchyna had initiated and collected 3 million signatures for a referendum on the ban of the sale of farmland, but the initiative was blocked by the Central Election Commission.
Yulia Tymoshenko also announced that in the near future there will be an all-Ukrainian action by Ukrainian farmers who oppose the opening of the agricultural land market.