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Problems of farm succession in the post-Soviet space: insights from the Republic of Moldova.

Piras, Simone, Botnarenco, Svetlana
Journal of land use science 2018 v.13 no.6 pp. 631-644
agricultural industry, children, farm corporations, farms, issues and policy, land ownership, livelihood, modernization, parents, surveys, Moldova
In post-Soviet countries, the breakdown of collective agriculture generated large numbers of subsistence-oriented smallholders. Two decades later, most land recipients are reaching old age. We inquire the perspectives for farm succession using a mixed-method survey with 126 smallholders and a pilot survey with 19 children of smallholders carried out in the Republic of Moldova in 2015. We find that many land recipients lack a successor and are thus selling their plots to corporate farms or abandoning them. The children recognise the symbolic value of food self-provisioning and land ownership but are more open to non-farm livelihoods than their parents. A timely introduction of policies to incentivise the takeover of the farms by young people and farm modernisation is thus key to promote an agricultural sector of mid-sized family businesses.