“Over 1.6 million hectares (ha) of land in Ukraine are now under the control of foreign-based corporations.”….“Installation of a pro-West government [via 2014 US regime change] is likely to further expand foreign acquisitions of agricultural land and extend the corporatization of agriculture in the country…while increasing poverty and inequality.”…"The United Farmers Holding Company, which is owned by a group of Saudi Arabian investors, controls some 33,000 ha of Ukrainian farmland through Continental Farmers Group PLC….Some of them are also led by Ukrainian oligarchs.”
Much agricultural land in Ukraine is apparently already foreign owned:
11/11/19, “Ukraine president: foreign ownership of farmland to be decided in referendum,” Reuters
“Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Monday that parliament would amend the law to stipulate that the issue of whether foreigners will be allowed to buy farmland would be put to a referendum.
Zelenskiy has pledged to lift a longstanding ban on the sale of farmland, a move that supporters say will unlock enormous opportunities for investment in the agriculture sector of one of the world’s largest grain exporters.
There has been resistance to lifting the ban, in part because of fears that land would be snapped up by foreign companies.”
Added: Transnational agribusiness interests already own much of Ukraine’s farmland:
“The Corporate Takeover of Ukrainian Agriculture,” oaklandinstitute.org
“International financial institutions swooped in on the heels of the political upheaval in Ukraine [in 2014] to deregulate and throw open the nation’s vast agricultural sector to foreign corporations.
This fact sheet provides details on the transnational agribusinesses that are increasingly investing in Ukraine, including Monsanto, Cargill, and DuPont, and how corporations are taking over all aspects of Ukraine’s agricultural system.
This includes circumventing land moratoriums, investing in seed and
input production facilities, and acquiring commodity production,
processing, and transportation facilities.”
Added: Crimea was very lucky to escape US oligarchs’ plans for it:
“Installation of a pro-West government [in 2014] is likely to further expand foreign acquisitions of agricultural land and extend the corporatization of agriculture in the country. The structural adjustment program will also likely increase foreign control of the economy while increasing poverty and inequality in the country.”
7/28/2014, “Press Release: The World Bank and the IMF Open up Ukraine to Western Interests,” oaklandinstitute.org
“"The high stakes around control of Ukraine’s vast agricultural sector, the world’s third largest exporter of corn and fifth largest exporter of wheat, constitute an oft-overlooked critical factor. In recent years, foreign corporations have acquired more than 1.6 million hectares of Ukrainian land,”
he [Frederic Mousseau, Policy Director of the Oakland Institute and
co-author of the report] continued. An additional deal signed with China
for 3 million hectares of farmland in September 2013 is in limbo, since
it is unclear whether the freshly minted government and its new Western
allies will allow it to go forward.
Walking on the West Side exposes how the international financial institutions serve the interests of agribusiness corporations through deregulation of the food and agriculture sectors and policies favoring foreign land acquisitions. Ukraine is also one of the 10 pilot countries in the World Bank’s new Benchmarking the Business of Agriculture (BBA) project, a widely criticized ranking system that promotes agricultural policy reforms including the deregulation of seed and fertilizer markets.
“The Bank’s activities and its loan and reform programs in Ukraine seem to be working toward the expansion of large industrial holdings in Ukrainian agriculture owned by foreign entities,” said Mousseau.
Beyond agriculture, it is expected that reforms pitched as a means to improve the business climate and increase private investment in the country will have a devastating social impact, resulting in a collapse of the standard of living and dramatic increases in poverty.
The acceleration of structural adjustment led by the international institutions following the installation of a pro-West government is likely to further expand foreign acquisitions of agricultural land and extend the corporatization of agriculture in the country. The structural adjustment program will also likely increase foreign control of the economy while increasing poverty and inequality in the country. The
World Bank and the IMF, however, have failed to demonstrate how such
programs will improve the lives of Ukrainian citizens and build a
sustainable economic future.
An international campaign, Our Land Our Business, is working to end the World Bank’s Doing Business Rankings and BBA project, tools that are used widely today to pry open natural resources to further corporate interests. To learn more, please
visit http://ourlandourbusiness.org/. #WorldVsBank
Download the report
Read the press release in Russian
Added: May 12, 2015, “Who owns Agricultural Land in Ukraine? by Elizabeth Fraser, The Oakland Institute, May 8, 2015
“The fate of Ukraine’s agricultural sector is on shaky ground. 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. Further research has allowed for the identification of additional foreign investments. Some estimates now bring the total of Ukrainian farmland controlled by foreign companies to over 2.2 million ha; however, research has also identified important grey areas around land tenure in the country, and who actually controls land in Ukraine today is difficult to ascertain.
[Map:] Ukraine’s wheat harvest by area, 2006-10
The companies and shareholders behind foreign land acquisitions in Ukraine span many different parts of the world. The Danish “Trigon Agri,” for example, holds over 52,000 ha. Trigon was established in 2006 using start-up capital from Finnish “high net worth individuals.” The company is traded in Stockholm (NASDAQ), and its largest shareholders include:
JPM Chase (UK, 9.5 percent); Swedbank (Sweden, 9.4 percent); UB
Securities (Finland, 7.9 percent); Euroclear Bank (Belgium, 6.6
percent); and JP Morgan Clearing Corp (USA, 6.2 percent).
The United Farmers Holding Company, which is owned by a group of Saudi Arabian investors, controls some 33,000 ha of Ukrainian farmland through Continental Farmers Group PLC….
Some of them are also led by Ukrainian oligarchs. For instance, UkrLandFarming controls the country’s largest land-bank, totaling 654,000 ha of land. 95 percent of the shares of UkrLandFarming are owned by multi-millionaire Oleg Bakhmatyuk with the remaining five percent having been recently sold to Cargill. Similarly, Yuriy Kosiuk, Ukraine’s fifth richest man, is the CEO of MHP, one of the country’s largest agricultural companies, which holds over 360,000 ha of farmland.”…