Land tenure journal. FAO support to land consolidation in Europe and Central Asia during 2002-2018 - Experiences and way forward. | Land Portal

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In Europe and Central Asia, FAO has 53 member countries today, and provides technical support in 18 countries in the Western Balkans, Trans Caucasus, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Most of these 18 countries have farm structures dominated by smallholders and family farms or dualistic farm structures with many small farms and few large corporate farms (FAO, 2018).Land fragmentation and small farm sizes are a fundamental structural problem resulting in low productivity and competitiveness in the globalized economy (Di Falco et al. 2010) list a number of publications confirming that land fragmentation increases production costs and leads to inefficiency.

The structural problem with excessive land fragmentation and small farm sizes is hampering agriculture and rural development and hence also most initiatives in support of development. Small-scale agriculture production is ongoing in subsistence and semi-subsistence farms where most of the production is consumed in the household and the farms have weak access to markets and food value chains.Land fragmentation and small farm sizes are also among the root causes to out-migration from rural areas and in several countries in the region a main reason for arable land being abandoned.

In Armenia, according to the 2014 Agricultural Census, 33 percent of the land of family farms and 38 percent of the land of corporate farms is abandoned (FAO, 2017a). Land abandonment is widespread in most Western Balkan countries. In FYR Macedonia, around one-third of the arable land is unutilized.

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The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (UNCCD) is a Convention to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements.


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