US-Based Firms Are Among Ukraine’s Largest Farmland Owners, Report Finds

(Photo by Ihor TKACHOV / AFP) (Photo by IHOR TKACHOV/AFP via Getty Images)

James Lynch Contributor
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Significant portions of Ukrainian farmland are owned by subsidiaries of U.S.-based firms, NCH Capital and TNA Corporate Solutions, according to a new report by the Oakland Institute.

TNA is the fourth largest private landowner in Ukraine, holding 295,624 hectares of land through subsidiaries, such as Pivden Agro Invest, Podillya Agroproduct, Hetmanske, and Prydniprovske, the report found. The firm is run by American businessman Nicholas Piazza and was formed in Wyoming in 2017, according to its corporate filings. (RELATED: Zelenskyy Thanks BlackRock, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs For Supporting ‘Big Business’ Of Ukraine Reconstruction)

NCH Capital possesses 290,749 hectares of Ukrainian land through AgroProsperis, a company tied to NCH that uses western capital to fund agricultural projects. NCH is a $3 billion private equity firm based in New York and the fifth largest private landholder in Ukraine. Its prominent investors include college endowments, pension funds, foundations, and large corporations, according to the report.

The Oakland Institute estimates private entities hold 28% of all arable Ukrainian land, with 4.3 million hectares controlled by large agricultural firms and five million “stolen” by “private interests,” according to the report. Most of the country’s farmland is owned by Ukrainian farmers.

“Despite being at the center of [the] news cycle and international policy, little attention has gone to the core of the conflict — who controls the agricultural land in the country known as the breadbasket of Europe,” Frédéric Mousseau, Oakland Institute policy director, said in a press release on Tuesday. “Answer to this question is paramount to understanding the major stakes in the war.”

Friday marked the one year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the war between the two nations. The U.S. approved $113 billion of aid to Ukraine in 2022, with $67 billion for defense and $46 billion for general aid, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget found.