Traditionally, the agricultural sector is considered to be a strong area of the Ukrainian economy, but over-regulation processes inside the branch, outdated legislation, and non-compliance of Ukrainian product quality standards to international ones hamper the development of the sector. A significant advantage of exporting raw materials over exporting of finished products remains an important problem of the sector. Thus, workplaces are reducing in Ukraine, and domestic demand in import is increasing. Moreover, there is still a moratorium on land sales, almost the most important issue that should be solved by this reform.
Agrarian reform in Ukraine is a permanent event. The current reform is outlined by a package of reforms “Ukraine – 2020”. Agricultural sector reform is implemented according to the Unified Comprehensive Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development in Ukraine for 2015-2020 worked out by the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food in cooperation with experts from the US Agency for International Development USAID, the World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the European bank for reconstruction and development, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and others. The strategy was approved by the National Reform Council in November 2015.
According to the strategy adopted by the Government, the following reform priorities have been specified:
➤ establishment of a stable legal system meeting international and European standards, in particular through the implementation of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU,
➤ implementation of a land reform,
➤ reformation of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food, public enterprises, institutions and organizations of the management sphere,
➤ establishment of a food security system,
➤ rationalization and elimination of existing weaknesses of the tax system,
➤ development of an agro-food value chain,
➤ development of rural territories, rural communities and the economy of rural areas,
➤ increasing the competitiveness of agricultural enterprises through trade liberalization, reducing transaction costs, trade simplification and export promotion,
➤ reformation and optimization of public scientific and research institutions and educational establishments,
➤ protection of the environment and management of natural resources.
Government bodies responsible for agricultural reform: The Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food.
Reform Expert – Andriy Zablotskyi, BRDO Food and Agriculture Sector Head.
➤ Simplification of the registration of land lease agreements and extension of their validity.
➤ Cancelation or validity limitation of about 30 permits.
➤ Establishment of the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection (SPSA), Apr. 2015.
Measures to be taken:
➤ Lifting of the moratorium on the sale of agricultural lands.
➤ Rendering of functions on the management of lands in communal ownership to local councils within the decentralization reform.
➤ Reassessment and restructuring or privatization of public agricultural companies: The Agrarian Fund and the State Food and Grain Corporation of Ukraine and others.
➤ Marketing development. In this regard, the requirements for classification of products should be simplified.
Key laws adopted within the reform:
➤ The Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers “On Some Issues of Business Deregulation”
➤ The Law ” On Amendments to Some Laws of Ukraine to clarify the powers of notaries and features original registration of real rights on agricultural land”
➤ The law “On Amendments to Some Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Simplification of the Business Environment (deregulation)”
➤ The law “On Amendments to Some Legislative Acts of Ukraine concerning Food Safety ”
➤ The law ” On Amendments to Some Legislative Acts of Ukraine concerning Deregulation in Agricultural Sector ”
Laws to be adopted:
➤ The draft law “On a Single and Comprehensive Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development 2015-2020” (the strategy was approved by the National Reform Council on Nov. 9, 2015)
➤ The draft law “On Amendments to Some Legislative Acts of Ukraine concerning the Procedure of Phytosanitary Examination and Bringing Laws in line with International Phytosanitary Standards” (the draft law was registered in the Verkhovna Rada)
➤ Dozens of regulations to the already approved laws.