About the Ministry

The provisory government of Lithuania which started its activities in the November 1918 just at the time of Compiegne armistice between Germany and Entente Powers which ended the World War I, among other agencies, set up the Ministry of Agriculture and State Assets for the administration of agricultural sector. The first minister of Agriculture was appointed agronomist Juozas Tubelis. It is he who had to start the creation of the ministry from zero, find necessary staff, and establish its structure and subdivisions.

Right after the establishment, the Ministry of Agriculture and State Assets(MASA) together with other state agencies has its seat in Vilnius, however the withdrawal of German troops and the advanced of the Russian Red has forced the Government of the fledgling Republic to withdraw to a safer place in Kaunas. Due to historical vicissitudes, it returned to Vilnius only in 1945. When the MASA was still in Vilnius, one started organizing its divisions, such as Agricultural division, Forest division, Veterinary division, and Land management and survey division. Later in 1919 division were expanded with new staff and were renamed departments and their heads were henceforth styled directors. The first directors of departments were agronomist Juozas Aleksa(Depaertment of Agriculture), Prof. P. Matulionis(Forest Department), veterinary physician E. Nonevicius(Veterinary Department), engineer V. Rackauskas(Department of Land Management and Survey). Directors of departments were members of the collegium of the Ministry, a collegial body to coordinate activities of the ministry, which was set up on December 7, 1920.

Since June 21, 1924 the ministry was renamed the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA). Products of agriculture were the main item of Lithuanian export in 1919-1940, their share made 90% from the total exports. The bulk of the agricultural production was exported to the United Kingdom and Germany. During the years of 1919-1939, the 20 years of the independent Republic, the annual increase of the agricultural production was 3.5-4%. In 30-ies the agricultural sector generated about a half of Lithuanian GDP and employed more than 3/4 of the workforce. The standards of production in Lithuanian agriculture were similar to those of other countries of Europe.

Last updated: 12-12-2023