Changes in the Land Act hampered growth of prices of agricultural land and reduced income from land lease

On May 1, 2016, a 12-year- moratorium in Poland on selling the agricultural land to foreigners ended.

weide met wilde bloemen, biodiversiteit
Beeld: ©Murawska

With the expiry of this period and upcoming opening of the market for buying and selling of agricultural land, a new land law was issued by the Polish government. The Surpreme Audit Office in Poland audited this Act and stated that these changes have hampered the growth rate of agricultural land prices and have resulted in a reduction of sales transactions and a reduction of rent for the State Treasury Agricultural Property Reserve from leased agricultural land. Recently, the Polish senate approved amendment on the Act on the trade of agricultural land. The amendments focused on simplifications in buying and trading in both state and private agricultural land and might improve the situation. Since 1992, around 3 mln ha has been sold by the Polish government, currently 10% (1.4 mln ha) of agricultural land is still in the hands of  State Treasury Agricultural Property Reserve. Out of this 10%, around 1 mln ha is leased.  Most of the land was sold in the years following 1992, in 2016 only 17 000 ha has been sold, dropping to 3,500 ha (2017) and 2,500 ha in 2018. The press release with findings of the Surpreme Audit Office can be found here.