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Newspaper Page Text
T E TOILER
SATURDAY, JAN. 1, 1921.
Soviet Work in Agriculture.
After the October Revolution the Soviet Gov
ernment was faced with the complex problem of
reorganizing agriculture on new lines, paying
attention in the first place to the necessity of
raising the productivity of labour.
Underlaying the agricultural policy of the
Soviet Government is the fact that the interest
of town and country are inter-dependent.
By the decree of the 26th of October 1917 all
the land was transferred to the toiling peasantry.
The "Fundamental Law on the Socialization of the
Land", promulgated on the 19th February 1919,
abolished for ever all proprietary rights in land,
mineral deposits, water, forest and living powers
of nature and turned over the land "without any
compensation for the use of the toiling people." In
accordance with this law "only personal labour
gives one the right to use agricultural land."
The subjoined figures give us a picture of the
distribution of land prior to the revolution of
1905 and after the October revolution in 1919.
Prior to the Revolution of 1905: Private estates
and state domains, 23.7 per cent ; land in the hand
of peasants, 76.3 per cent, in 32 provinces of Rus
sia. After the Revolution : Land belonging to Soviet
Communes, Industrial Institutions etc. 2.7 per
cent, land Collectively farmed 0.8 per cent, and in
the hands of the peasants, 96 per cent. .
The land of the landlords went chiefly to the
peasants. Indeed, 85.9 per cent went to the
peasants, 11.9 was taken by the State, and 2.2 per
cent was occupied under collective farms. Thus,
the first outcome of the policy of the Soviet Go
vernment was the transference of most of the
land to the wide masses of the toiling peasantry.
Still, however large the area of land that had
passed to the peasants, it had introduced no ma
terial change in the size of the plot of the in
dividual holder. In the majority of provinces the
new land transferred is represented per head in
decimals, and even less, of a deciatine of land.
Thus wide masses of peasants have grasped the
fact that the bits of land added to their holdings
were not sufficient. It was necessary to raise the
question of increasing productivity. With this
object in view and with the object of organizing
agriculture on communist lines, the Soviet Gov
ernment paid particular attention to collective
forms of cultivation and to Soviet Communes. The
organization of such forms of agriculture gave
the opportunity to the poor peasants lacking
inventory and means, to secure a livelihood for
themselves and their families by passing to more
advantageous and more efficient methods of
The returns from the communes give the fol
On the 1st Nov. 1918 there were 950 com. (in 26 prov.)
On the 1st Nov. 1919 there were 1986 com. (in 31 prov.)
In September 1920 there were 1826 (com. (in 42 prov.)
The area of land occupied by them was :
On the 1st Nov. 1918 73.328 decintines in 26 prov.
On the 1st Nov. 1919 97.345 decintines in 31 prov.
On the 1st Sept. 1920 140.786 decintines in 28 prov.
The increase in the area of collectively cultivat
ed land is to be ascribed to the reconquest of Si
beria where the communes dispose of a large area.
The number of people in the Communes was:
On the 1st of March 1918 85.619 in 30 provinces
On the 1st of Nov. 1918 01.676 in 30 provinces
On the lRt Sept. 1920 76.052 in 33 provinces
There was also a large number of co-operative
farms. Of these
On the 1st of Mnrch 1919 there were 422 in 19 prov.
,On the 1st of Nov. 1919 there were S401 in 30 prov.
" On the 1st of Sept. 1920 thcro wero 7510 in 43 prov.
The area of the co-operative farms was:
On the 1st of Mnrch 1919 38.459 decintines in 19 prov.
On the 1st of Nov 1919 7H.002 decintines in 30 prov.
On the 1st of Sept. 1920 504.920 decintines iu 28 prov.
The number of people on the farms was:
On the 1st of Mny 191!) 97.290 in 31 provinces
On the 1. of Nov. 1919 273.353 in 31 provinces
On the 1st of Sept. 1920 459.629 in 33 provinces
The general picture of the collective movement
in agriculture in September 1920 was as follows:
Number of collective agricultural establishments
10.575; number of people 705.368; area 1,122.190
These figures however fall far behind th
actual numbers. At the conference of represent
atives of such agricultural establishments, held in
July 1920 it was ascertained that not all the