The project will help improve the structure and enlargement of farms in beneficiary countries,
and identify ways that land banking can support land consolidation procedures.
4 June 2022, Ankara – The abandonment or non-utilization of agricultural land is a common problem in many countries, especially in South-Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. Land abandonment undermines food security, results in lost economic opportunities, and creates a range of other negative socio-economic and environmental impacts. It is also essential to strengthen local food production through sustainable agriculture, to help mitigate pressures such as the climate crisis, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
The FAO-Turkiye partnership has initiated a new project to recultivate abandoned lands for sustainable agriculture. The project also aims to facilitate improvements in the structure and enlargement of farms in beneficiary countries, and identify ways that land banking can support land consolidation. Entitled “Enhancing agricultural land market development to address land abandonment and improve land consolidation procedures”, the project will be implemented within the scope of the FAO-Turkiye Partnership Programme on Food and Agriculture (FTPP II) funded by the Government of the Republic of Turkiye. Targeting Azerbaijan, Turkiye and Uzbekistan, the project is projected to run until July 2025.
The specific objectives of the project are to support the introduction of a land banking instrument in connection with an ongoing national land consolidation programme in Turkey and a planned similar programme in Azerbaijan and to assess the need for land market development and the feasibility of land management instruments in Uzbekistan. The project will also support the development of institutional capacity to ensure more sustainable use of agricultural land, while addressing land abandonment and facilitating farm structure improvement and enlargement in Azerbaijan, Turkiye and Uzbekistan.
By analysing the root causes of land abandonment, such as excessive land fragmentation, which often makes agricultural activities uneconomical, the project will seek to establish a regional collaboration mechanism based on knowledge exchange and capacity development. Experiences gained during project implementation will be shared among the three partner countries during a series of subregional workshops and policy dialogues aimed at strengthening institutional capacity and adopting an integrated approach to tackling land abandonment. The results of the project will be shared and discussed at the 14th International LANDNET Workshop, due to be held in Turkiye in 2023.