Broad discussion has been caused by the issue of a new regulation on purchase of agricultural land. The Cabinet of Ministers has reviewed and supported a draft law prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture providing a wider range of amendments to the law On Land Privatisation in Rural Areas.
The draft amendments suggest that the only persons that can purchase agricultural land are those with experience and who have earned an income from agricultural production, as well as persons with agricultural education and new farmers. These are the exact requirements that have caused multiple objections because they can significantly limit free circulation of agricultural land.
Discussions have also arisen in relation to the efficiency of the system of rights of first refusal available in the draft law. Although the Ministry of Agriculture expects that these amendments will facilitate more efficient use of agricultural land and development of the industry, many are concerned about the effect of the amendments on forest land and its maintenance because a large proportion of land properties in Latvia comprise land jointly usable in agriculture and forestry.