Academy of Agricultural Sciences

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Academy of Agricultural Sciences


V.I. Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VASKhNIL), the highest scientific institution in the fields of agriculture, water resource management, and forestry in the USSR; its members are the most prominent scholars in these fields. The academy is under the jurisdiction of the USSR Ministry of Agriculture. It was founded in 1929 and is located in Moscow.

The academy’s membership as of Oct. 1, 1968, included one honorary academician, 85 members (academicians), 67 corresponding members, and 21 foreign members. P. P. Lobanov has been president of the academy since 1965.

The academy works on major problems in all branches of agricultural science with a view to promoting an upswing of agriculture production in conformity with the aims of communist construction in the USSR. The academy has the following tasks: to develop theoretical research in the main branches of agriculture, to discover fundamentally new paths of technological progress in this field, and to refine research methods in order to raise the theoretical level and efficiency of research; to study and generalize the achievements of world science and to promote a maximum utilization of the achievements of science and advanced experience in kolkhoz and sovkhoz production. In fulfillment of these tasks, the academy plans and coordinates research; provides methodological guidance on the major theoretical, scientific, and technological problems in agriculture and forestry; and operates graduate courses that train agricultural scientists. It also promotes improvements in the qualifications of scientific workers and other specialists in agriculture, propagandizes the achievements of agricultural science, and disseminates scientific knowledge.

The academy and the agricultural research institutions elaborate and substantiate systems of agricultural methods on the basis of productive use of the country’s land, water, and forest resources; increases in the specialization of production, rational distribution of the different branches of agriculture according to natural and economic zones; development of modern production technologies in agriculture; development and efficient use of modern machines; and electrification, automation, and comprehensive chemicalization in farming and animal husbandry. The academy and its institutions elaborate the scientific basis of agricultural biology in such fields as the selection of highly productive blight-and disease-resistant agricultural plants and animals, seed farming, pedigreed stock breeding, biochemistry, physiology, metabolism, photosynthesis, microbiology, and virology. They develop methods of protecting plants from blight and disease, of agricultural land reclamation, of forestry, of land reclamation through forest planting, and of fighting soil erosion. They work on refining methods of organizing production, planning, and self-support on kolkhozes and sovkhozes, and of raising the economic efficiency of capital investments in agriculture and the profitability of its branches and enterprises. Finally, the academy and its institutions refine the organization and remuneration of labor and other methods of promoting the material incentive of collectives and individual workers through a better utilization of the means of production to raise production and reduce its cost.

The Presidium, which is elected by the general assembly of the academy, directs current work.

In 1969 the academy had eight divisions, and three regional divisions—the Southern in Kiev, Central Asian in Tashkent, and Siberian in Novosibirsk—and 31 scientific research institutions. The division of farming and chemicalization of agriculture consists of the Agrophysics Institute, the Plant Protection Institute, the Institute for Protecting Plants of the Southwestern USSR, the Plant Protection Institute in Tashkent, the Cotton Institute, the V. V. Dokuchaev Soil Institute, the Agricultural Microbiology Institute, the D. N. Prianishnikov Institute of Fertilizers and Agricultural Soils, and the Grain Institute.

The division of horticulture and selection contains the Corn Institute, the Institute of Oil-Yielding Crops, the N. I. Vavilov Horticulture Institute, the Rice Institute, the Institute of Selection and Genetics, the Institute of Grain and Legume Crops; the Cotton Selection and Seed Farming Institute, the Gribovo Vegetable Selection Experimental Station; the I. V. Michurin Genetics Laboratory; and the Nikita Botanical Garden.

The academy’s livestock breeding division has research institutes in livestock breeding and the physiology and biochemistry of agricultural animals, and also the Pushkin Research Laboratory for Breeding Agricultural Animals.

The academy also has a division of veterinary medicine (the K. I. Skriabin Helminthology Institute and the Institute of Experimental Veterinary Medicine), a division of mechanization and electrification of agriculture (research institutes in mechanization of agriculture, electrification of agriculture, mechanization and electrification of animal husbandry in the south of the country, and measuring instruments and techniques in agriculture); a division of hydrotechnology and reclamation through forest planting, with a research institute of the same name, and a division of the economics and organization of agricultural production.

Other units of the academy are the Central Scientific Agricultural Library, the Institute of Information and Technological and Economic Research, and a wide network of experimental stations and farms.

The academy engages in scientific and technological cooperation in agriculture with scientific institutions and scholars abroad.

The printed organs of the academy are Vestnik sel’ skokhoziaistvennoi nauki (Bulletin of Agricultural Science), published since 1956; Doklady Vsesoiuznoi ordena Lenina akademii sel’skokhoziastvennykh nauk im. V. I. Lenina (Transactions of the Order of Lenin, V. I. Lenin Academy of Agricultural Sciences), since 1936; Sel’ skokhoziaistvennaia biologiia (Agricultural Biology), since 1966; Mekhanizatsiia i elektrifikatsiia sotsialistiches-kogo sel’skogo khoziastva (Mechanization and Electrification of Socialist Agriculture), since 1930; Sel’skoe khoziastvo za rubezhom (Agriculture Abroad), since 1955; and the series Rastenievodstvo (Horticulture) and Zhivotnovodstvo (Animal Husbandry).

The academy awards medals in honor of K. A. Timiriazev, N. I. Vavilov, V. R. Vil’iams, K. K.Gedroits, V. P. Goriachkin, M. F. Ivanov, A. K. Kostiakov, I. V. Michurin, G. F. Morozov, and V. S. Nemchinov to authors of outstanding scientific works and discoveries. The academy was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1949.

The presidents of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences have been N. I. Vavilov (1929–35), A. I. Muralov (1935–37), G. K. Meister (1937, acting president), T. D. Lysenko (1938–56), P. P. Lobanov (1956–60), T. D. Lysenko, (1961–62), M. A. Ol’shanskii (1962–65), and P. P. Lobanov (1965—).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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