Matecna: Agriculture Ministry Launches Land Reparcelling for €45 mn

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Agriculture Minister Gabrial Matecna, the ministry's legislative section Jaroslav Puskac and head of the ministry's land department Andrej Vasek (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, March 27 (TASR) – The Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry is launching land reparcelling projects costing almost €45 million that will be carried out on 168 land office areas in western, central and eastern Slovakia, Agriculture Minister Gabriela Matecna (Slovak National Party/SNS) told a news conference held on Wednesday.

The press conference was also attended by head of the ministry’s legislative section Jaroslav Puskac and head of the ministry’s land department Andrej Vasek.

According to Matecna, the Public Procurements Office (UVO) Council has confirmed that a land consolidation-related public procurement process implemented by the Agriculture Ministry was carried out correctly, meaning that the ministry can start land reparcelling across Slovakia.

“Land reparcelling projects at land office areas in western, central and eastern Slovakia will start as early as this year. They will concern 168 land office areas worth €44.6 million (excluding VAT). It’s a breakthrough moment. This is the first land consolidation to be implemented by the state since 2010,” said Matecna.

“The areas in which land reparcelling will be carried out had to meet a couple of criteria. Preparatory procedures had to completed, a condition stemming from the law. Municipalities had to agree with the land consolidation and the land owner’s interest in land reparcelling had to be proven,” stated Puskac.’

Matecna said that land reparcelling is one of the basic solutions to ownership rights to farm and forestry land. It will result in new proprietary and rental relations to land. “I regret the long time taken by UVO [to check the public procurement process], as this was detrimental mainly to the people – owners of plots of land – concerned,” stressed Matecna.

Matecna pointed to the fact that land fragmentation and problems concerning user relations in Slovakia have their roots in inheritance law dating back to the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and later in collectivisation. This resulted in unclear and unbalanced relationships between owners and users, with owners having problems using their own plots of land.

There are currently 8.4 million plots of land in Slovakia, with 4.4 million registered land owners and 100.7 million co-owners. The average number of land co-owners per plot is 11.93, while each owner owns 22.74 plots on average.