Ukraine’s agricultural potential can make it one of the world’s economic and social leaders, President Viktor Yushchenko said during a meeting with Ukrainian farmers on Friday. He, however, added that Ukraine had "noresponsible, consistentand systemic agrarian policy based on modern research and advanced technologies.”

Yushchenko said the country had no “normal, open and transparent” land market and called it one of the biggest problems impeding the effectiveness of reforms in the agricultural sector and scaring off potential investors. He urged parliament to lift last year’s moratorium on the sale of farmland, president's press office reported.

The president said Ukraine had no strategy to develop its grain sector and said it was unacceptable to regulate the market through administrative means, insisting that the government must fill Ukraine’s grain fund. He also said it was important to “essentially improve” social security, support farmers more effectively and pass land market laws.

Yushchenko also suggested creating a grain exchange and then reiterated his demand that the country’s next government must raise salaries and pay bonuses to those professionals that work in rural areas and start building affordable housing.


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