From destatization to land privatization to agrarian reform in post-Soviet Uzbekistan: How to support paradigm shifts to sustainable land use management practices?
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On the eve of independence from the Soviet Union, a process of destatization, promulgated into Soviet law in early 1990, was proceeding under Gorbachev’s leadership. Yet, significant shortcomings in vision, influenced by historical ideology and contemporary friction, mitigated the full development of private land ownership. Leasing of land from collective (Kolkhoze) and state (Sovkhoze) farms was legally permitted and proceeded accordingly. Private ownership, with the ability for purchase and sale, was not permitted; however, allocation of land for private household production, with permitted sale of produce into local markets became increasingly common. While leasing of state land was aimed at fostering improvements in productive efficiency in order to increase the volume of production for key state commodities (predominantly cotton and wheat), the distribution of land for private household production, with perpetual user rights, was aimed at enhancing food security within rural communities. Conventional wisdom that destatization was initiated after independence from the Soviet Union is therefore not strictly correct.