Land adjustments will cost €45 million

The process should help solve problems with land ownership fragmentation, experts say.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: SME)

The Agriculture Ministry is launching land adjustments worth almost €45 million. They will be implemented in 168 land registers in western, central and eastern Slovakia, said the Agricultural Minister Gabriela Matečná (Slovak National Party).

The decision follows the approval of the Public Procurement Office (ÚVO) of the public tender to carry out land adjustments.

“We can announce nearly a year after the procurement was declared that we’re launching land adjustments,” said Matečná, as quoted in a press release. The process will concern 168 cadastral areas. “It is a breakthrough moment, since it will be the first land adjustment since 2010.”

Fragmentation of lands is a problem

The areas in question had to meet several criteria, including the finished preparation phase. Moreover, municipalities had to issue consent to the adjustments, and all plot owners had to show their interest in the adjustment.

“In order to finish the projects to be financed from the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, the size of the cadastral areas could not exceed 2,000 hectares,” said Jaroslav Puškáč of the ministry.

Land adjustments are one of the basic solutions of ownership rights to agricultural and forest lands. One of the outcomes will be the new settlement of ownership relations to the plots, their registration in the land register, new tenant relations, as well as information about technical and ecological measures carried out on facilities, the ministry stated.

The problems with the fragmentation of land ownership have roots in the Hungarian inheritance rights and collectivisation. As a result, there are often unclear and unbalanced relations between the owners and users. Currently, there are 8.4 million property parcels, 4.4 million registered owners, and 100.7 million co-owners. An average number of co-owners per one plot is 11.93, while one owner has 22.74 plots on average, according to the ministry.

Experts respond

The ministry’s announcement will start state-financed processes after 10 years of inactivity, said organisations uniting experts in land adjustments.

“It’s good news for all end beneficiaries, first of all owners, but also farmers, municipalities, self-governing regions and the whole state,” they said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “Land adjustments is the only efficient tool in solving the catastrophic fragmentation of Slovak land ownership and also a key tool in solving the problems of the Slovak agriculture sector.”

They also praise the fact that the ministry is working on the document that should ensure that the land adjustments will continue in the following years, TASR reported.

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