Agricultural Economics

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Agricultural Economics


in the USSR, socialist agricultural economics, or the science of agriculture as an integrated branch of the economy producing agricultural products. Agricultural economics dates back to the socialist transformation of small peasant farms into the socialist type of large-scale collective production in accordance with V. I. Lenin’s cooperative plan.

Agricultural economics is the study of the particular features that distinguish agricultural production, reproduction, and accumulation, the intensification of agriculture, and the socialist agricultural system as a whole. The subject matter of agricultural economics is the land—the principal means of production in agriculture—and its rational utilization, including (1) the land resources of the USSR and their classification and composition, (2) the material and technological basis and technological advances of agriculture, agricultural fixed capital stock, and agricultural working capital, (3) labor and labor productivity in agriculture, (4) the location and specialization of production in agriculture, and (5) prime costs, prices, and pricing in agriculture, sales of agricultural output, the role of commodity-money relations, and profit-and-loss accounting.

Crop production and animal husbandry, including fodder production, are separate branches of agricultural economics. The industrialization of agriculture is a specialized field. The organization of agricultural enterprises (such as kolkhozes and sovkhozes, interkolkhoz production enterprises, and agroindustrial complexes) is a subdivision of agricultural economics.

The science of agricultural economics is closely related to agronomy—that is, to cropping methods, soil science, land reclamation and chemicalization, agrobiology, genetics, and zootechny. Studies in agricultural economics deal with questions of land appraisal, differential pricing of agricultural products, and equalization of the operating conditions of agricultural enterprises located in different economic and natural zones.

The basic provisions of agricultural economics are worked out in the zonal agricultural economics research institutes and in the departments of agricultural economics that are part of all the agricultural higher education institutes and academies. The All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Agricultural Economics was established in 1955 as part of the V. I. Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences, with affiliates in the RSFSR (North Caucasus, Volga Region, and Central Chernozem Zone); institutes have also been set up under the ministries of agriculture of all the Union republics. In addition, research work in this field is carried out in the agronomy divisions and sectors of the institutes of economics of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and of the Union republics. Publications on agricultural economics include the newspaper Sel’skaia zhizn’ and the journal Ekonomika sel’skogo khoziaistva, both published in Moscow.


Venzher, V. G. Kolkhoznyi stroi na sovremennom etape. Moscow, 1966.
Ekonomika sotsialisticheskogo sel’skogo khoziaistva. Moscow, 1970.
Leninskoe uchenie o nepe i ego mezhdunarodnoe znachenie. Moscow, 1973. Section 5.


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