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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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9. Conclusion


After the breakdown of the Soviet Union, the former Soviet Republics started to adjust the national economy to the conditions of the market economy, with dif- ferent strategies and pace. Besides macro-reforms like price and trade liberalisa- tion, land reforms and farm restructuring were the main reforms in the agricul- tural sector. The major goals of these reforms were the distribution of formerly state-owned agricultural land to the population and the re-organisation of agri- cultural enterprises (kolkhozes and sovkhozes). Two main strategies had been applied to transfer the state-owned land into private ownership: the distribution of physical land parcels, or the distribution via paper shares for undemarcated land parcels. Privatisation mainly aimed at improving agricultural productivity and at avoiding poverty by providing the rural population with agricultural land as a source of income. Experts and politi- cans conducted large debates about the best way to privatise the agricultural land occurred. Still today there are countries such as Belarus and Uzbekistan, which have not privatised agricultural land so far and which probably will decide this question in the future. While much has been written about the economic development of the agri- cultural sector as well as about the structural outcome of the sector reforms, little empirical research has been conducted in the field of land reforms and poverty reduction in the former Soviet Republics. This study aimed at analysing the im- pact of the two different land reform strategies on the income of rural house- holds and rural poverty. Since poverty...

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