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Ukraine’s Soil Changes Hands: Foreign Investors Grabbing Arable Lands

Ukraine’s rich black soil is changing hands: foreign corporations and Ukrainian tycoons continue “grabbing” the country’s arable lands; the question remains open whether such a policy can benefit the Ukrainian people, Elizabeth Fraser stressed.

The question remains open what the future has in store for Ukraine’s agricultural sector, noted Elizabeth Fraser, a researcher at the Oakland Institute, pointing to the fact that foreign agroholdings and Ukrainian tycoons are taking the country’s rich arable lands under control.

“Last year, the Oakland Institute reported that over 1.6 million hectares (ha) of land in Ukraine are now under the control of foreign-based corporations… Some estimates now bring the total of Ukrainian farmland controlled by foreign companies to over 2.2 million ha,” the researcher underscored.

According to Elizabeth Fraser, “the companies and shareholders behind foreign land acquisitions in Ukraine span many different parts of the world.”

For instance, the Danish “Trigon Agri,” holds over 52,000 ha, the Saudi-owned United Farmers Holding Company controls about 33,000 ha; France’s AgroGeneration holds 120,000 ha of Ukrainian farmland, while US pension fund NCH Capital has taken control over 450,000 ha.