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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2016 year, number 1

STATE-FARM CONSTRUCTION DURING THE KHRUSHCHEV DECADE: PREREQUISITES, PROGRESS, RESULTS

S.N. Andreenkov
Institute of History SB RAS, 8, Ak. Nikolaeva Str., Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia
Keywords: agricultural policy, agriculture, sovkhozes, kolkhozes, machine and tractor stations, N.S. Khrushchev

Abstract

The article considers issues relating to the system of organization of production in the Soviet agriculture in the mid-1950s - early 1960s. During these years N.S. Khrushchev initiated an attempt to improve the efficiency of agricultural sector of the economy trough the mass construction of state farms - agricultural enterprises that were the Soviet analogues of the industrial form of agricultural production. Analysis of motives, progress, methods, results and consequences of state-farm construction during the Khrushchev decade allowed obtaining new important knowledge in order to deepen and concretize understanding of the essence and fate of the Soviet agricultural system as well as specifics of the state economic policy. Particularly valuable is the information about the activities of state farms established in 1954-1955 in the areas of virgin and fallow lands in the Eastern regions of the USSR. Their establishment was considered the lever for growth in corn production, first of all, for the sake of increasing the fodder base for livestock production. State farms were also established in the habitable areas using the resources of kolkhozes in order to increase an output of dairy products and vegetables. Development of state farm network was widely supported by the regional authorities who were interested in transferring the collective farms to the state as it helped to respond more quickly to the social and economic needs of the village and, first of all, to provide rural dwellers with a better income. Believing in huge production capacity of state farms the government often approved regional level proposals for transforming kolkhozes into sovkhozes. Contrary to all expectations, financial, economic and production indicators of many state farms were below forecasts. “Sovkhozisation” failed to achieve the anticipated results due to the fact that it was carried out in a forced manner while neglecting the evolutionary pattern of industrialization of agriculture rooted in economic practices.