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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(kollektivnye khoziaistva), in the USSR, cooperative organizations of peasants who have come together voluntarily for the joint management of large-scale, socialist agricultural production based on socialized means of production and collective labor. The term “kolkhoz” is also applied to cooperative organizations of fishermen, or fishing kolkhozes. At the end of 1971 there were 32,300 kolkhozes, excluding the fishing kolkhozes (500), and 14.1 million kolkhoz households.

The kolkhozes were established in accordance with V. I. Lenin’s cooperative plan. Like the sovkhozes, they are a means of developing the productive forces of agriculture during the period of transition to communism. They are a school of communism for the peasantry. As the Program of the CPSU points out, the “kolkhoz system is an inseparable part of Soviet socialist society. It is the way to lead the peasantry gradually to communism, the way outlined by V. I. Lenin, historically tested and corresponding to the particular characteristics of the peasantry” (1972, p. 76). From a political point of view, the kolkhoz system strengthened the Soviet state and its foundation—the alliance of the workers and peasants—and ensured the actual conditions for the involvement of the peasantry in the management of social production and in determining general affairs of state. From an economic standpoint the kolkhoz system put the benefits of large-scale production at the service of socialism and communism and provided an opportunity to develop farming on a modern industrial basis. From a social point of view, the kolkhoz system not only freed the toiling peasantry from exploitation and poverty but also made it possible to establish a new system of social relations in the countryside, leading to the complete over-coming of class differences in Soviet society.

The kolkhozes have a number of fundamental goals. They are intended to achieve the greatest possible strengthening and development of the collectivized sector, as well as a continuous improvement in labor productivity and in the efficiency of social production. Under the kolkhoz system, the production and the sale of agricultural products to the state are increased by the intensification and further technical reinforcement of kolkhoz production, the introduction of full mechanization and electrification, and the widespread use of chemicals and land reclamation. Supervised by the party organization, the kolkhozes give their members a communist upbringing, involve them in public life, and develop socialist competition among them. The kolkhoz system strives for the more complete satisfaction of the growing material and cultural needs of its members, the improvement of the conditions of their everyday life, and the gradual transformation of the villages into settlements provided with all the public services and amenities.

In their activities the kolkhozes are guided by regulations approved by the general meeting of kolkhoz workers and based on the Model Kolkhoz Regulations and current legislation. The Model Regulations for an Agricultural Artel, which were approved in 1935 at the Second Ail-Union Congress of Kolkhoz Shock Workers, directed the activities of the kolkhozes during the period of the establishment and development of socialism in the USSR. Approved in 1969 at the Third All-Union Congress of Kolkhoz Workers, the Model Kolkhoz Regulations are the fundamental law for the activities of the kolkhoz peasantry during the building of a communist society.

Production and organizational structure. Citizens who have reached the age of 16 and who express a desire to contribute their labor to the socialized economy of the kolkhoz may become kolkhoz members. Upon the proposal of the kolkhoz board in the presence of the applicants, new members are admitted to the kolkhoz at the general meeting of kolkhoz workers. A kolkhoz member has a number of rights, including the right to work in the socialized economy for a guaranteed wage computed according to the amount and quality of labor invested by him. He may participate in running the affairs of the kolkhoz, vote, and be elected to its administrative bodies, and he may make proposals for the improvement of kolkhoz activities and the elimination of shortcomings in the work of the kolkhoz board and officials. Every kolkhoz member has the right to assistance from the kolkhoz in improving his production skills and acquiring specialized knowledge or skills. In accordance with the procedure established on a particular kolkhoz, its members have the right to use a household plot for subsidiary farming and as the site of a home and farm buildings. They may also use kolkhoz pastures and kolkhoz-owned draft animals and transportation facilities for their personal needs. Members have the right to social security and to cultural services and aid from the kolkhoz in building and repairing housing and in obtaining fuel supplies.

In addition to rights, kolkhoz members have a number of obligations. They must observe the regulations and the rules of internal order and carry out the directives of the general meetings and the decisions of the kolkhoz board. As part of the socialized sector of the economy they are to work conscientiously, observe labor discipline, and master advanced work methods and procedures. They must participate actively in kolkhoz affairs, safeguard, protect, and strengthen state and kolkhoz property, prevent mismanagement and a negligent attitude toward social property, and make rational and correct use of the kolkhoz land and the household plots.

Applications for withdrawal from the kolkhoz are subject to consideration by the board and by the general meeting of kolkhoz members. Persons who have temporarily left the kolkhoz because of regular active military service, election to a position in a Soviet public or cooperative organization, training that requires a leave of absence from production, or orders to work at interkolkhoz organizations, in industry, or in other branches of the national economy for a period of time stipulated by the kolkhoz board may remain members of the kolkhoz. If they continue to live on the territory of the kolkhoz, members who can no longer work because of old age or disability may maintain their membership in the kolkhoz. Expulsion from the kolkhoz is permitted as an extreme measure applicable only to persons who have systematically violated labor discipline or the kolkhoz regulations. It may be invoked only after other punitive measures have been applied, such as a rebuke, reprimand, severe reprimand, transfer to poorly paid work, release from a position, and warning that expulsion from the kolkhoz is under consideration.

Kolkhozes are self-supporting socialist agricultural enterprises that engage primarily in the production of crops and livestock products. In order to achieve the fuller and more even use of labor resources and local sources of raw materials and to raise the income of the kolkhoz economy, subsidiary enterprises and trades have been established, but only insofar as they do not interfere with agricultural production. Interkolkhoz production organizations and associations, of which there were 4,781 at the end of 1971, may also be formed. Usually, they are organized to carry out major construction projects (electric power plants, repair shops, workers’ resorts, sanatoriums, and other cultural and service projects) or to organize livestock fattening stations, poultry farms, and enterprises and shops for processing vegetables, potatoes, fruits, and other farm products. State, kolkhoz, and interkolkhoz livestock complexes have also been built. Using modern industrial methods, these large, specialized industrial enterprises process the products of animal husbandry.

In the USSR, land—one of the fundamental means of agricultural production—is state property attached to the kolkhozes for their use free of charge and for an unlimited period of time. However, it cannot be sold or leased. The land holdings of the kolkhozes may be reduced only in the event of special need, with the agreement of the general meeting of kolkhoz workers and upon the decision of the appropriate state bodies. Most of the land assigned to the kolkhozes is made up of lands for common use. The remainder is used for household plots, which are assigned to the families of kolkhoz members for subsidiary farming. As of Nov. 1, 1971, 337.8 million hectares (ha) had been assigned in perpetuity to the kolkhozes (that is, 32 percent of all the land used by agricultural enterprises and farms), including 332.8 million ha of land for collective use and 4.6 million ha for household plots. The conservation of the land and improvement of its fertility are very important duties of the kolkhoz.

The collective property (for example, enterprises, buildings, structures, equipment, draft and productive livestock, orchards and vineyards, materials [seed, fertilizers, petroleum products, and toxic chemicals], products, and money) and the state-owned kolkhoz land form the economic foundation of the kolkhoz. The fixed and circulating production assets and the fixed nonproductive assets are indivisible—that is, they are not divided among the kolkhoz members and are used only for specific purposes. At the end of 1971 the indivisible assets of the kolkhozes (excluding the fishing kolkhozes) amounted to 64.2 billion rubles.

On the kolkhozes there are a number of forms of production and labor organizations: production sections, livestock farms, production brigades, teams, and other subdivisions. Plots of land, tractors, machinery and implements, draft and productive livestock, the necessary buildings, and other means of production are assigned to these subdivisions. The production subdivisions conduct their work on the basis of internal economic accountability.

All the work on the kolkhoz is done by its members. Only in periods when farm work is particularly heavy is an exception made, and then only if a kolkhoz does not have sufficient manpower to complete the work promptly. Skilled workers such as agronomists, zootechnicians, mechanics, and construction workers may also be brought in from outside the kolkhoz to do special jobs.

Distribution of income on the kolkhozes is intended to combine correctly accumulation and consumption, a constant increase in production, and emergency and cultural and service public funds and to raise the standard of living of kolkhoz members. Out of the gross product of the kolkhoz, the material expenditures for production are covered. The wage fund is taken from the gross income. Net income is used to pay taxes and to meet other monetary payments to the state, to increase the fixed and circulating assets, to create a cultural and service fund, funds for social security, for material aid to kolkhoz members, and for material incentives to the kolkhoz workers and specialists, as well as for other purposes. The natural (in-kind) output of the kolkhozes is used to create the seed fund as well as to fulfill the plan for selling agricultural products to the state. It is also used to create the in-kind fund to provide agricultural products for distribution among kolkhoz workers as part of their wages or for sale to them. If the plan specifications for sale to the state have been met, the kolkhozes may also sell their surplus products to the state. In addition, the natural output provides fodder for the collectively owned livestock as well as for distribution or sale to kolkhoz workers. Out of the natural output, in-kind emergency and carryover funds are formed for seed, fodder, and food. Products are allocated for public catering, for maintaining children’s institutions, for supporting orphans, and for providing assistance to pensioners, invalids, and needy kolkhoz members. Any remaining products are sold to the consumer cooperatives or on the kolkhoz market or are used for other needs.

The kolkhozes establish a guaranteed wage for work in socialized production (prior to 1966, payment was computed according to workdays, with advances for kolkhoz workers). Kolkhoz workers may also receive additional wages and other types of material incentives. Cash wages are distributed at least once a month, whereas products (food and fodder) are distributed as they become available. On the kolkhozes, wages are paid according to the quantity and quality of labor invested by each kolkhoz worker in the socialized economy. Pay increases for kolkhoz workers depend on the growing rate of their labor productivity. Among the wage systems used by the kolkhozes are the time and time-bonus systems, and well as the piecework system, under which the worker is paid for the volume of work performed or for the finished product. The output standards and rates for agricultural and other work on a particular kolkhoz are set and, when necessary, revised with the extensive participation of kolkhoz workers and specialists. They are modeled on national output standards but take into consideration the specific conditions on the farm.

Kolkhoz workers receive old-age and disability pensions as well as assistance in the event of the death of the breadwinner. (In addition, women receive pregnancy and maternity benefits.) There are subsidies for temporary disability, trips to sanatoriums and workers’ resorts, and other types of social security. The same procedure for calculating pensions is applied to kolkhoz workers, industrial workers, and office employees. Social security and social insurance for kolkhoz members are paid from central all-Union funds. The kolkhoz helps the members to improve their skills and cultural level as well as to acquire a special skill. Children’s crèches and kindergartens are maintained by public funds, which are also used to provide public facilities in populated areas and to implement cultural measures.

Kolkhoz democracy is the basis of the entire system for organizing kolkhoz management. The highest administrative body is the general meeting of kolkhoz workers (on large farms, the meeting of the representatives of the kolkhoz workers). For the day-to-day direction of production there is an elected board headed by a chairman. An auditing commission supervises the activities of the board and the kolkhoz officials. The administrative and control bodies are elected by open or secret ballot, upon the discretion of the general meeting of kolkhoz workers. The practice of electing the leaders of production subdivisions has been introduced. In addition, brigade councils have been organized, which play an important role in kolkhoz production matters and in the life of the kolkhoz workers.

A decision of the Third All-Union Congress of Kolkhoz Workers called for the formation of elected kolkhoz councils at the raion, oblast, krai, republic, and central levels. Their tasks are to discuss the most important questions in the life and activity of the kolkhozes, to generalize the experience of production organization, and to work out recommendations for the fullest use of reserves for the growth of the socialized economy. As the highly mechanized kolkhoz economy becomes even more like modern industrial production, modern forms and methods of management are being used in agriculture, and mechanization and automation are being introduced into management.

Planning and management. The planned management of agriculture is based on a correct combination of centralized planning on the one hand, and on economic initiative on the part of the individual enterprises on the other hand. The kolkhozes themselves plan socialized production, taking as their starting point the necessity of fulfilling the state plan for the procurement of agricultural products and the need to make better use of the land as the basic means of production. The state supplies the kolkhozes with modern machinery, fertilizers, and other material means, thus making possible the technical reinforcement of agriculture and a rise in its productivity. The state budget finances major kolkhoz projects, such as land reclamation and measures to combat soil erosion. State and economic organizations provide material and technical services for the kolkhozes (repair of equipment, land reclamation work, advice on the use of chemicals, and aid on construction projects). In addition, they offer land management, agronomic, zootechnical, and veterinary services and train and retrain kolkhoz members.

Through its policy of establishing purchasing prices for agricultural products the state stimulates the production of those products that are most important to the national economy (grain, meat, and milk, for example) and ensures the necessary level of profits for the socialized economy. The system of state short-term and long-term credits for the kolkhozes is yet another important economic lever. State property and crop insurance guarantees the kolkhozes compensation for losses owing to natural disasters, thus ensuring the stability of the farms’ development. Scientific institutions make many contributions to the kolkhozes, including the development and rapid introduction of new, high-yielding strains of agricultural crops and highly productive breeds of animals, the elaboration of new means of mechanization and the most effective use of technology for each product, and the introduction of new methods for combating pests and diseases of plants and animals.

The Ministry of Agriculture of the USSR and its local bodies provide the overall leadership of the kolkhozes. The construction of water management installations and the use of water facilities shared by several farms are directed by the Ministry of Land Reclamation and Water Management and its local bodies. The network of state and cooperative procurement organizations is responsible for procuring agricultural products. The organizations of the Soiuzsel’khoztekhnika (an ail-Union association that sells farm equipment, fertilizers, and other material and technological supplies to the kolkhozes and sovkhozes) see that the kolkhozes are supplied with materials and equipment. The consumer cooperatives organize trade in the villages and the purchasing and marketing of surplus agricultural products provided by the kolkhozes and kolkhoz workers. In addition they have developed public catering facilities, bakeries, and other consumer services for the rural population.

Historical forms. In the USSR collective farms were first organized immediately after the victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution. There were three forms: the agricultural commune, the partnership for the joint cultivation of the land (TOZ), and the agricultural artel. They differed in the degree of socialization of the means of production and in the procedure for income distribution. Until 1919 the agricultural communes prevailed.

The simplest form of kolkhoz was the TOZ, in which land use and labor were socialized, but the livestock, machinery, implements, and buildings remained the private property of the peasants. Income was distributed not only according to the amount of labor but also according to the size of the contribution and the value of the means of production turned over to the TOZ by each member.

In the agricultural artels, land use, labor, and the basic means of production (for example, draft animals, machinery, productive livestock, and farm buildings) were socialized. Houses and plots for subsidiary farming, as well as productive livestock, remained the private property of the kolkhoz member. The size of the plots was limited by the regulations of each artel. Income was distributed according to the quality and quantity of labor (in terms of workdays). Through the artel the private interests of the kolkhoz members and the public interests were reconciled.

According to data for June 1929, 6.2 percent of all the kolkhozes in the country were communes, 60.2 percent were TOZ’s, and 33.6 percent were agricultural artels. At the beginning of the 1930’s a majority of the communes and TOZ’s were put under the Regulations for the Agricultural Artel. The artel became the fundamental and, subsequently, the only form of kolkhoz in Soviet agriculture. The term “agricultural artel” has lost its significance in current legislation, and the term “kolkhoz” is used in party and government documents. This is reflected in the Model Kolkhoz Regulations (Nov. 27, 1969).

Before the full collectivization of agriculture, the Communist Party and the Soviet government did a great deal of work to organize cooperatives among the peasants, particularly consumer and agricultural cooperatives.

Development of the kolkhozes. Mass collectivization (1929–33) was carried out at a time when it was necessary to mobilize all the forces of the Soviet people to overcome the country’s technical and economic backwardness. It was accompanied by a fierce struggle against the kulaks—the last, most numerous exploiting class, who were eliminated as a result of full collectivization.

The measures taken to strengthen the kolkhozes organizationally and economically also helped to make them a sound support for the socialist system. As the kolkhozes became stronger, the volume of agricultural production increased. At the same time, the number of sovkhozes increased. In 1927–28, 11,027,000 tons of grain were procured, of which only 10 percent came from the kolkhozes and sovkhozes. By comparison, in 1931–32, 22,839,000 tons were procured, 69 percent of which came from the kolkhozes and sovkhozes. Between 1934 and 1940 the number of collectively owned livestock on the kolkhozes increased from 8.4 million to 20.1 million head of cattle, from 2.8 million to 8.2 million pigs, and from 10.2 million to 41.9 million sheep.

During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45) the Nazi invaders did a great deal of damage to Soviet agriculture. The most important farming regions were temporarily lost to the invaders. The overwhelming majority of the able-bodied men of the kolkhozes, MTS’s (machine and tractor stations), arid sovkhozes joined the Soviet Army, and a considerable number of tractors, motor vehicles, and horses were sent to meet the needs of the front. Consequently, most of the farm work fell to the women, adolescents, and elderly people. In 1942, 36 percent of the country’s MTS tractor drivers were women (7 percent in 1940), 43 percent of its combine operators were women (8 percent in 1940), and 36 percent of its drivers were women (7 percent in 1940). During this period of exceptional difficulties and hardships, the kolkhoz peasantry and all the agricultural workers were distinguished for their organization, teamwork, and patriotism in meeting the needs of the army and the population for food and in supplying industry with raw materials. The kolkhozes continued to develop during the postwar decades.

In 1953 the September Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU adopted measures to strengthen the material and technical base of agriculture, to improve the work of the MTS’s, to raise the material incentives for the kolkhoz peasantry, to strengthen agricultural production with new personnel, and to improve agronomic services for the kolkhozes. The procurement prices for grain and livestock products were increased. The planning of agricultural production was improved, and science was assigned a greater role in developing agriculture. Although these measures brought results, the growth of agricultural production did not satisfy the needs of the nation.

The March Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU (1965) disclosed the reasons for the lag in agricultural production. The plenum worked out immediate political and economic measures aimed at rapidly overcoming the lag in agriculture. Among them were a switch to stable procurement plans for agricultural products for a number of years, the setting of new economically based prices for agricultural products purchased by the state, and the introduction of increased prices for purchases of grain over and above the plan. Of particular importance for the further development of agriculture were the measures to improve its material and technical base, including

Table 1. Dynamics of kolkhoz consolidation1
 Average per kolkhoz
1Excluding fishing kolkhozes
Kolkhoz households1379169391439
Plowed land (ha)726141,2212,9743,200
Collective plantings (ha)405001,0002,7003000
Cattle (head)5852248261,332
Pigs (head)23598625983
Sheep and goats (head)71775461,6541,684
Tractors (15-hp units; MTS’s taken into account)0.22.462563

plans to increase the production and delivery of machinery and fertilizers.

As a result of the rise in purchasing prices, the change in the income tax rate for the kolkhozes, the reduction in prices for spare parts and machinery, and other measures carried out under the decisions of the plenum, the kolkhoz economy was significantly strengthened. In 1966 the May Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU approved a broad program of land reclamation with major capital investments from the state budget. During the ninth five-year plan (1971–75), the output of agricultural products was to be increased, chiefly by strengthening the material and technical base of agriculture and by making it more intensive through complete mechanization, the use of chemistry, and extensive land reclamation.

MATERIAL AND TECHNICAL BASE. The material and technical base of the first kolkhozes was created by socializing the basic means of production of the individual peasant farms, the technical level of which was extremely low. For example, in 1928 approximately 75 percent of the spring crops on the peasant farms was sown by hand, 44 percent of the cereal crop was harvested with sickles or scythes, and 41 percent was threshed with flails or rollers. There was no motor-driven equipment. Draft animals were used, and there were only 19 horsepower per 100 ha of sown area. Communist Party policy, which was aimed at the socialist industrialization of the country, provided an opportunity to develop an agricultural machine building industry and to create a tractor and motor vehicle industry. From 1929, MTS’s, which were the material and technical base of the kolkhoz system, were established to serve the kolkhozes. By the end of 1957 there were almost 8,000 MTS’s, with 1,047,000 tractors (in 15-horsepower units), 321,000 grain-harvesting combines, and many other agricultural machines. The MTS’s played a very important role in the struggle for the socialist transformation of the countryside, in creating and developing the kolkhoz system, and in strengthening the alliance between the working class and the peasantry.

With the growth of the socialized sector of the kolkhoz and the improvement of workers’ qualifications, it became possible to turn the means of production over to the kolkhozes. In 1958 the MTS’s were reorganized as RTS’s (technical repair stations), and their machinery and equipment were sold to the kolkhozes. Thus, the decisive means of production became part of the assets of the kolkhozes, and the machine operators became kolkhoz workers. Conditions for the effective use of machinery and for the mechanization of production were improved. Between 1960 and 1971 the number of tractors (15-hp units) on the kolkhozes increased from 1,050,000 to 2,071,000 (in physical units, from 621,000 to 983,000), the number of grain-harvesting combines rose from 267,000 to 295,000, and the number of trucks, from 416,000 to 561,000. From 1960 the basic field work on the kolkhozes (plowing, sowing, and the harvesting of cereal crops) was fully mechanized. In 1971 milking machines were used on 57 percent of the kolkhoz cows, 80 percent of the sheep were sheared by machine, and water was mechanically supplied to 72 percent of the cattle and 81 percent of the pigs. Only 15 percent of the kolkhozes used electric power in 1950, whereas virtually all of them had electricity by 1968. Before the October Revolution (1913–17), the peasant farms had only 0.5 hp (draft animals) per worker. In 1971, the figure was 9.4 hp (chiefly machines). Before the Revolution the peasant farms had 20 hp per 100 ha sown area, and in 1971, 153 hp. Using state and kolkhoz funds, the kolkhozes have made agriculture both intensive and specialized, improved the level of farming and of animal husbandry, and introduced progressive industrial methods as well as the achievements of science and experience in advanced methods into agriculture. Agronomic, zootechnical, and veterinary services for the kolkhozes have also been expanded.

CONSOLIDATION. As kolkhoz production and the material and technical base developed, the small size of the kolkhozes began to impede the effective use of machinery and labor resources on them, hindering a further rise in labor productivity. Therefore, it became necessary to consolidate the kolkhozes. The course of consolidation may best be comprehended in terms of figures. In 1940 there were 235,500 kolkhozes (excluding fishing kolkhozes); in 1950, 121,400; in 1960, 44,000; and in 1971, 32,300. The reduction in the number of kolkhozes has also been due to the reorganization of some of them as sovkhozes upon the decision of the general meetings of kolkhoz workers. The number of kolkhoz households has declined from 18.7 million (1940) to 14.1 million (1971). Between 1928 and 1972 the peasant population of the USSR declined from 77.8 percent of the total to 19.3 percent. (See Table 1.)

From 1940 to 1971 the average indivisible assets per kolkhoz increased from 12,000 to 1,991,000 rubles. The value of the fixed assets of the kolkhozes reached 49.6 billion rubles in 1971. The growth of public wealth has provided a foundation for increasing the output of agricultural products and raising labor productivity. (See Table 2.)

In 1971 the kolkhozes produced 49 percent of the total agricultural commodity output of the USSR, including 57 percent of the agricultural crops and 44 percent of the livestock products. (See Table 3.)

The kolkhozes produce primarily for the market. According to 1971 data, 43 percent of kolkhoz-produced grain, 88 percent of the vegetables, 97 percent of the meat, 86 percent of the milk, 99 percent of the wool, and close to 100 percent of the industrial

Table 2. Rise in communal wealth of the kolkhozes
 Per 100 kolkhoz households
Collective plantings (ha)328625587708681683
Cattle (head)37107136211289304
Pigs (head)184460160205224
Sheep and goats (head)53223331423376384

crops were available for distribution outside the producing unit. The growth of kolkhoz output and its high marketability have made possible a rise in kolkhoz income. Calculated per 100 kolkhoz households, gross income increased between 1960 and 1971 from 72,000 to 161,000 rubles. The increase in the level of state purchasing prices for farm products was very significant in bringing this about.

Table 3. Relative share of the kolkhozes in gross and commodity agricultural output (for all categories of farms, in percent)
ProductsIn productionIn commodity output
Raw cotton7676
Sugar beets9292

The increase in the income of the kolkhozes is the basis for increasing capital investments in production and in the construction of cultural and service facilities. Between 1918 and 1972 kolkhoz capital investments totaled 104 billion rubles: 0.03 billion between 1918 and 1928, 0.4 billion during the first five-year plan (1929–32), 1.2 billion during the second five-year plan (1933–37), 1.6 billion during the third five-year plan (3.5 years, 1938–40), and 1.8 billion between July 1,1941, and Jan. 1,1946. During the fourth five-year plan (1946–50) kolkhoz capital investments totaled 3.7 billion rubles; during the fifth five-year plan (1951–55), 5.0 billion; during the sixth five-year plan (1956–60), 16.3 billion; during the seventh (1961–65), 20.8 billion; and during the eighth (1966–70), 33.6 billion, including 7.7 billion in 1970. Under the ninth five-year plan (1971–75) projected capital investments in agriculture are 82.2 billion rubles from the state budget and 46.4 billion rubles from kolkhoz funds.

MATERIAL AND CULTURAL STANDARD OF LIVING OF KOLKHOZ WORKERS. The kolkhoz system has provided for a continuous rise in the material and cultural level of the kolkhoz workers. In 1940 the real income of the kolkhoz workers (including free education and medical aid, pensions, social security and other payments and benefits) was 2.3 times greater, and in 1971, 12 times greater than that of the peasants in prerevolutionary Russia (1913). Between 1960 and 1971 payments in cash and in kind for the labor of kolkhoz workers increased from 6.1 billion rubles to 15.3 billion rubles, or from 1.4 to 4.03 rubles per man-day worked. In prerevolutionary Russia the toiling peasantry paid heavy fees and taxes (around 20 percent of their income), whereas kolkhoz workers pay only about 3 percent of their income from agriculture in taxes and fees.

Between 1918 and 1972 the kolkhozes, the kolkhoz workers, and the rural intelligentsia built 83.8 million sq m of housing. The kolkhozes have also built clubs and preschool institutions and have participated in the construction of schools, hospitals, polyclinics, stores, public catering facilities, and consumer service enterprises. Urban-type settlements provided with all the municipal conveniences have been established. In prerevolutionary Russia the majority of the peasant children did not have the opportunity to attend even primary schools. All the children of kolkhoz workers are covered by the compulsory eight-year education law, and universal complete secondary education is being introduced.

The kolkhozes have developed their own intelligentsia. Between 1940 and 1970 the number of specialists with a higher or secondary education employed on the kolkhozes increased from 29,000 to 390,000. In the same period the number of kolkhoz agronomists, zootechnicians, and veterinarians rose from 19,000 to 234,000. The vocational and technical level of the rural workers has also changed sharply. Machine operators, of whom there were 2,053,000 as of Apr. 1, 1972, have become the leading workers on the kolkhozes.

PROSPECTS FOR DEVELOPMENT. Relying on socialist industry, the kolkhozes are developing their productive forces and strengthening their economy. In terms of economic conditions, the kolkhozes are similar to the state agricultural enterprises— the sovkhozes. The intensification, concentration, and specialization of production is continuing. In the long run, this will lead to the withering away of small-scale production in agriculture (the kolkhoz workers’ household farms).

The form of kolkhoz production assets will also change substantially. The role of modern technology will increase, and agricultural labor will gradually be transformed into a variety of industrial labor. Direct production ties are developing between the kolkhozes, as well as between the kolkhozes and the sovkhozes and the kolkhozes and industrial enterprises. “In keeping with economic advisability, agroindustrial associations will gradually be formed, in which agriculture will be organically combined with the industrial processing of its products, with rational specialization and cooperation among the agricultural and industrial enterprises” (Programma KPSS, 1972, pp. 84–85). All of this signifies the growing socialization of agricultural production, a deepening and development of the economic ties between industry and agriculture, and a drawing together of the national and cooperative forms of ownership.

As interkolkhoz enterprises have emerged, substantial changes have taken place in the distribution and use of the gross income of the kolkhozes. A portion of kolkhoz accumulation is used to create and expand the interkolkhoz enterprises and organizations and to implement projects with other kolkhozes, such as irrigation, drainage, and road construction. The kolkhozes are developing ties with each other in consumption as well as in production.

The kolkhozes take part in establishing boarding schools, clubs, hospitals, and recreational facilities. Increasingly, the income level and the living conditions of the kolkhoz workers approximate the income level and living conditions of industrial workers. “All these processes, which should be carried out on a voluntary basis and under the necessary economic conditions, will gradually give kolkhoz-cooperative property a fully national character” (ibid., p. 84). As a result, the prerequisites will be created for overcoming the differences between state and cooperative agricultural enterprises. “In terms of economic conditions, the kolkhozes will be the equal of the fully national enterprises in agriculture” (ibid., p. 85). The kolkhozes will be the equal of the state enterprises in terms of their technical and organizational level, the character of production, their cultural and service facilities, the character of product distribution, and the income level of the workers.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the brochure, an evening of kolkhozniks in Keila district cultural house on the topic of 'We shall catch up with the United States in per capita butter, meat and milk production' is described.
In addition, those unencumbered border crossings by Soviet Koreans might influence Russian kolkhozniks, among whom a highly dissatisfied attitude toward the Soviet authorities prevailed as well.
"The most terrible thing," concurred the head of the Statistical Administration, Ganiushkin, "was that drawn into the orbit of falsification was a wide circle of officials, starting with the kolkhozniks but moving on to salespeople at the village general stores, kolkhoz accountants, and even newspaper reporters." Underlining this point, Aristov, who attended the plenum of 6 January, conceded that Moscow had received signals, including a very convincing one about suspicious goings-on in the Zapozhkovskii district.
Some agents were employed regardless of having been exposed by fellow kolkhozniks who complained that "[the agents] did not fulfill their work norms because they were busy with secret cooperation with the MGB organs." Others who were unqualified or had criminal records were kept in the surveillance network since "there was no surveillance in the kolkhoz where they worked and they are needed in any case." Scores of informants who at least on paper looked like promising prospects for valuable information on the old intelligentsia and national minorities were kept on the rosters despite offering no information and avoiding meetings with their handlers over several years.