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Impact of Land Reform Strategies on Rural Poverty in the Commonwealth of Independent States

Comparison between Georgia and Moldova


Kerstin Kötschau

This study aimed at analysing the impact of two different land reform strategies on rural poverty in CIS countries, particularly in Georgia and Moldova. While Georgia distributed agricultural land parcels directly to the population at the beginning of the 1990ies, Moldova transferred land via paper shares for undemarcated land parcels. This study is based on household data, which were collected during household surveys in Georgia and Moldova in 2007 and 2008. The data had been used in order to analyse the impact of land reform on the endowment with land and other capital, the use of capital and the access to markets and credits as well as the importance of agricultural employment for rural households. A logit analysis had been run in order to detect the determinants of poverty.


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Kerstin KOETSCHAU takes up a highly interesting topic in the field of agricultur- al and development policy. She analyses the impact of different land reform strategies on the poverty situation of rural households in the Commonwealth of Independent States. The rural population was particularly affected by the sharp decrease of agricultural production as well as by the privatisation and restructur- ing of agricultural enterprises. Especially during the first years of transition, ru- ral poverty considerably increased. Against this background, land reforms and farm restructuring were intended to improve the agricultural productivity as well as to increase household income through the transfer of property rights to land. Particularly in the comparative analysis between the countries Georgia and Moldova the author studies the impact of the land reform strategy on rural pov- erty. The land reform strategies include the physical distribution of land parcels to the population on the one hand, and the distribution of paper shares for unde- marcated land parcels on the other hand. The topic is still highly relevant, even if most of the former Soviet countries have already privatised agricultural land. Some of the CIS countries, which pri- vatised agricultural land in form of paper shares for undemarkated land parcels, have not yet transferred the paper shares into physical land parcels. Other CIS countries have not yet or only to a small extent started to privatise agricultural land like Belarus or some of the countries in Central Asia. Inadequate and unreliable data in the CIS countries are a...

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