Khrushchev's Agriculture Policy (Why did Khrushchev improve…
Khrushchev's Agriculture Policy
Khrushchev decided he needed to improve Russia’s agricultural problems quickly and embarked on a process to increase food production.
In 1953 agricultural production was low and the livestock population was low.
Khrushchev partly blamed this on Stalin’s methods of controlling agriculture.
Why did Khrushchev improve agriculture?
To increase food production
Grain stocks and livestock populations were lower than Tsarists times.
Collectivisation was not working as farms had to pay high taxes and received low wages for their produce!
Failures of the Centrally Planned Economy
Khrushchev thought the controlled economy under Gosplan had taken away local initiative and independence.
He wanted to reduce control and allow local leaders to decide agricultural policy.
He was an expert
Khrushchev believed he was a agricultural expert (he had a agricultural/peasant background) and thought he knew what he was doing
ENCOURAGE PEASANTS TO PRODUCE MORE
Peasants were paid more for grain
Taxes on peasants were reduced
amount of grain requisitioned was reduced, therefore there was more left for the peasants to sell.
ALL THESE INCREASED THE CHANCES OF PEASANTS MAKING MONEY
Collective farms were merged to create larger farms
Ministry of Agriculture was moved away from Moscow.
There was regionalisation
Regions to have greater self control as they knew their area better than Moscow
Tractor stations were disbanded.
Tractors sold to state farms
Peasants worked harder to buy tractors
With a tractor can produce more grain
Sell more grain
The Virgin Lands Scheme
In its first three years 36 million hectares of new land was brought under cultivation
Young communists were sent into the countryside to make these regions fertile
120,000 Tractors were provided
Critics of Khrushchev complained that there was too much investment in agriculture and not enough in other areas, such as the military and space.
led to a decrease in tractors and machinery.
To maintain improvements Khrushchev tried to experiment with other grains such as maize.
Many areas like Kazakhstan had unsuitable soil.
There were not enough fertilizers.
Encouraged early sowing of crops. This led to wheat infestation, soil erosion.
1963 had to import 20 million tonnes of grain from USA and Australia.
Grain harvests rose sharply between 1953-64. (84 million tonnes in 1953 and 109 million tonnes in 1963)
By 1956, 35.9 million hectares of land had been reformed
Shows an attempt to do something
Khrushchev didn’t listen to any advice and interfered too much
There wasn’t enough research into the policies so they failed
Not enough money was put in for fertilisers, grain storage etc