Green Plans

Green Plans


a form of state-monopoly regulation of agriculture widely used in several of the developed capitalist countries of Western Europe from the mid-1950’s to the late 1960’s.

The green plans were adopted in response to the reorganization of the material and technical base of the developed capitalist countries’ agriculture, itself the result of rapid technological progress. The plans formulated the basic tasks of the agricultural policy of different countries and the main goals of government regulation in agriculture, and they set forth the orientation and scale of agricultural production, the growth of labor productivity, the acceleration of technological progress, and the concentration of production. The green plans mapped the rate of growth of agricultural production, the volume and distribution of capital investments, the nature of structural changes, and the needed social measures.

The green plans are implemented by legislation of individual states to determine the conditions, norms, and nature of state intervention in agriculture, as well as by long-range and annual plans of development. West Germany adopted a green plan in 1955, France adopted the Law of Agricultural Orientation in 1960, and Italy adopted special five-year plans for the development of agriculture, the Green Planl for 1961–65 and the Green Plan-2 for 1966–70. To implement the green plans the government allocated funds from the state budget to modernize market structure and agricultural production and management and to support peasant earnings and social needs. The government also issued loans and preferential credit, which went mainly to the big capitalist farms. The green plans promoted the development of the productive forces of agriculture, accelerated the process of agriculture’s capitalist reconstruction, and stimulated economic and social differentiation among the peasantry. The differentiation benefited big capitalist farms and monopoly capital and greatly intensified the contradictions within agriculture as well as between agriculture and other branches of the economy. However, the effectiveness of these plans was limited because the planning was not compulsory, because truly scientific planning is impossible under the capitalist mode of production, and because the agricultural policy of bourgeois states is contradictory.

With the implementation of a unified agricultural policy within the European Economic Community, the green plans of individual countries lost their importance. The Mansholt Plan, which was drawn up in 1968 for the Common Market countries, aims at radical changes in West European agriculture. The plan is clearly directed against the peasantry and provides for a large-scale reduction of agricultural population through the elimination of small peasant farms.

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