From today, Ukrainians can sell their farmland, a right largely lost after the communist takeover one century ago.

“Ukrainians will become the real masters of their land, because they will be able not only to own it, but also to dispose of it freely,” Prime Minister Shmygal wrote yesterday on Telegram. “There is not a single successful country where there is a moratorium on the introduction of a civilized land market.” Ukraine’s largest export industry, agriculture cultivates annually 32 million hectares, an area larger than Italy.

The market starts with limits – sales are only permitted between Ukrainians for areas less than 100 hectares.

The Economy Ministry estimates that the average price of a hectare will be around $2,000. On January 1, 2024, the market will expand to Ukrainian-owned companies and the size limit will increase to 10,000 hectares. Allowing foreigners to buy Ukrainian farmland is only to be decided by a national referendum. At present, polls indicate that Ukrainians are opposed to the sale of land to foreigners.