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Why did Stalin introduce collectivisation and what were the consequences of his policies?

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Introduction

Why did Stalin introduce collectivisation and what were the consequences of his policies? Stalin believed that changing the organisation of agriculture would prodigiously increase the efficiency of farming. Collectivisation, hence the introduction of collectives, would mean that the mir [peasant strip farms] would be amalgamated and this would enable the sharing of resources such as machinery between the collective farms instead of the small peasant holdings. The mechanised equipment itself would capacitate the extraction of greater surpluses than the peasant strip farms. Hence, this would allow for economies of scale due to the lower costs per unit, which would serve as the essence to the increase in agrarian efficiency. Similarly, the collectivisation of farms would enable efficiency for the human resources of Stalin, such that fewer communist officials would be required to handle the collective farms, and there would be more direct supervision. This would mean it would be easier to control any opposition and to isolate any illegal activity, such as the hiding of grain. ...read more.

Middle

Due to collectivisation, the instigation of two different types of farms ensued; sovkhozy and kolkhozy. However, one similarity between the two was that the workers, called sovkhozniks and kolkhozniks respectively, were remunerated at a flat rate, set targets and had specified procurement quotas by Gosplan; hence, if they did not attain the targets, they would have no grain. Sovkhozy, which literally means "Soviet household", were state farms that were predominantly located around cities and the land was usually stemmed from the land sequestered from the church and other large estates. Furthermore, they were generally specialised and thus very few were set up, as it ascertained high expenditure due to requirements of the best machinery. Kolkhozy, which literally means, "Collective household", were the collective farms and were formed via the amalgamation of the individual holdings of peasants, the majority of which were previously small strip farms called mir. The state supplied these collective farms with seeds, fertilisers, as well as tractors and agrarian machinery from a state enterprise called a Machine Tractor Station, however many of them did not function efficiently. ...read more.

Conclusion

The kulaks were cognisant of the fact that their land would be sequestered by force, however they retaliated against the state by smashing edifices and slaughtering livestock. Through this and bad weather, 1/4 of the entire nation's livestock perished. Another action they took was carrying out a scorched earth policy in order to prevent the state from taking their crops. This was a major contributing factor to the famine between 1932 and 1933, where 7 million were killed and an area which was acutely affected was Ukraine, which they call Holodomor. However in the long term, collectivisation proved to be a success to a certain extent. Grain production rose to nearly 95 million tonnes in 1939. This was an astonishing improvement and it really improved the worker's health and quality of life. In 1928 the Soviet Union produced 73 million tonnes of grain. By 1933 it had dipped to 69 million tonnes and it was not until 1940 that production reached 95 million tonnes. ...read more.

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