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Final report: Feasibility study on the implementation of a land consolidation pilot project in Georgia









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    Book (stand-alone)
    European good practices on land banking
    FAO study and recommendations
    2022
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    Many countries in Western Europe have a long tradition of applying land banking as part of the integrated toolbox of land management instruments. As with land consolidation, the traditional purpose of land banking has been to support agriculture and rural development by reducing land fragmentation and facilitating the enlargement of farms. In Western Europe, the objectives of land banking have developed over the last decades, and today, in several countries, the instrument is applied in a multi-purpose approach together with land consolidation. In most countries, land banking shares the objectives of land consolidation, which in addition to continued agricultural development, supports the implementation of public projects in rural areas where private landowners and farmers are requested to give up agricultural land, for example, in connection with the construction of infrastructure projects such as highways and railways or for the implementation of public projects related to nature restoration, afforestation or climate change adaptation and mitigation. In a few Western European countries, land banking is also applied on use rights, where a lease facilitation approach connects owners of agricultural land not using their land and often leaving it abandoned, with local farmers interested in farming more land. This study first analyses and identifies good European practices on land banking, discusses experiences from the introduction of land banking instruments in countries in Central Europe. Finally, it provides policy recommendations for the introduction of land banking, with a focus on countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Lessons learned from the introduction of land consolidation in North Macedonia during 2014–2023 2023
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    Since 2014, North Macedonia has developed into the flagship country for FAO support to land consolidation in Europe and Central Asia. The first small technical assistance project began in 2014. During 2017–2022, support to the national land consolidation programme was scaled up with European Union IPA funding through the FAO-implemented MAINLAND project. In August 2022, a second EU IPA-funded and FAO-implemented project “Enhancing land consolidation in North Macedonia” was launched and will continue until 2026 in close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy. From the beginning, the Government of North Macedonia’s vision has been to build up and implement a fully operational national land consolidation programme. In addition to the mentioned core land consolidation activities and projects, FAO has in North Macedonia in the same period provided technical assistance to a number of land policy-related activities, including to the privatization of state-owned agricultural land, addressing land abandonment and supporting the development of agricultural land markets. This publication aims to document the lessons learned from the introduction of a land consolidation instrument in North Macedonia during the period 2014–2023. The purpose is to share the experiences with land consolidation, which will also be of great relevance for other countries in Europe and Central Asia and beyond that are in the process of introducing land management instruments such as land consolidation and land banking. The structural problems in agriculture with small average farm sizes, excessive land fragmentation, water scarcity, need for modern irrigation systems and weak agricultural land markets are also present in several countries in North Africa, the Near East and South East Asia. In some of these countries, there is also an increased interest in the introduction of land consolidation instruments.
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    Project
    Mainstreaming the National Land Consolidation Programme in North Macedonia - GCP/MCD/002/EC 2023
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    The average farm size in North Macedonia is 1.8-1.9 ha, which is considerably below the average farm size in the European Union of 16.6 hectares. In addition, the small farms consist of several parcels (usually 5-7), which are often distant from each other and lack access to irrigation, drainage and road infrastructure. The fragmentation of both land ownership and land is one of the greatest challenges for the country’s agricultural sector, having adverse effects on the productivity, competitiveness and efficiency of farms, and preventing further modernization and economies of scale. Since 2012, the country had already taken several steps towards the development of an operational National Land Consolidation Programme. This European Union-funded project has aimed to assist the Government in taking the final steps to make the Programmefully operational and to implement the first round of land consolidation projects on the ground, in order to improve the competitiveness of the country’s agriculture sector, in line with European Union policy.

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