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Speculation with arable land: federal government stops sale of land in the east

2022-05-19T14:27:25.310Z

Arable land has become a lucrative object of speculation, particularly in eastern Germany. Now the federal government wants to take countermeasures.



Enlarge image

Preparation for spring sowing: federally owned farmland is to be withdrawn from speculation in the future

Photo: Jens Büttner / dpa

In recent years, land prices in the eastern German federal states have risen sharply.

Now the federal government is stopping the sale of its arable land in eastern Germany.

Instead, the agricultural land owned by the federal government should generally only be leased, primarily to organic farmers.

The responsible departments of the Federal Government had agreed on this, the Ministry of Agriculture announced.

The decision is intended to curb speculation in farmland and the sharp rise in prices.

It is about areas of BVVG Bodenverwertungs- und -verwaltungs GmbH.

After German unification, this had the task of privatizing a total of around two million hectares of state-owned land.

The areas were gradually sold to farmers and agrarian companies – but also to investors who did not farm the land but instead speculated in part on it.

The traffic light parties SPD, Greens and FDP had already announced in their coalition agreement that they would end the privatization practice.

This is now being implemented, said a spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture: "This change of course has succeeded in securing the land for agriculture."

"In the past, farmers have competed with non-agricultural investors when selling land," the spokesman said.

"The privatization freeze should also help to calm the development of lease and purchase prices for agricultural land."

According to the ministry, the BVVG still has around 91,000 hectares in its portfolio.

The ministries also agreed to designate an additional 17,500 hectares as national natural heritage, in addition to the 8,000 hectares already dedicated to this purpose.

Now the conditions for the future lease are to be clarified quickly.

"Residual sales" of up to 6,000 hectares should still be possible by 2024 in order to fulfill existing legal claims.

fdi/dpa

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-05-19

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