Search for new approaches to farming in the Ukrainian SSR in the period of "developed socialism"
Keywords:agriculture, Ukrainian SSR, collective farms, reclamation, chemicalization, crop production, industrial crops
National scientists have elaborated the reform's gist, approaches, stages and consequences in the Ukrainian agricultural sector during the XX - XXI centuries. These studies have been conducted by N. Zhulkanych, S. Zhyvora, M. Zyza, M. Lendiel, E. Mazur, O. Malyarchuk, V. Nechytailo and many others.
The paper aims to perform the comprehensive study of general trends and peculiar features of the agricultural development of the Ukrainian SSR in 1963-1990 and to define actual advances and drawbacks on the basis of analysis of historical records and scientific literature. The object of research is agriculture as part of socialist economy in the USSR. The subject of research is the implementation features of agricultural policy of the Soviet power in the Ukrainian SSR, using the Western region of the Republic as an example.
The economic strategy of the Soviet power involved a long-term industrialization of the agricultural sector. A distinguishing feature of the industrialization process was the use of systems of machinery in all branches of agriculture. The technological chain had to embrace the process from the sporadic application of machinery to the overall mechanization and automation of crop and livestock farming. The industrial background of production predetermined the implementation of the system of machinery with extensive power consumption, i.e. with the new technical bases. The resolutions of the March (1965) Plenum of the CPSU Central Committee defined the economic priorities and capacity development of the Republic.
Capital investments were the economic basis for the increase of production potential of collective and state farms, solution of social problems in rural regions. The land productivity was increased mainly by means of land reclamation and production chemization, use of organic and mineral fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, etc. The supply of mineral fertilizers increased, but most of them were of low quality, non-concentrated and unbalanced in nutritional ingredients. In its turn it caused irreparable damage to the environment and polluted agricultural products with chemicals. The chemization undermined the population health and disrupted the ecological balance.
Despite ultimate achievements in the rise of the industrial level of agriculture of the Ukrainian SSR, it didn't meet the needs of collective and state farms. A great number of labour-intensive processes in animal and crop farming were performed manually. In state farms, contrary to collective farms, the stock of tractors was newer, but much smaller.
For many years the USSR was in the top ten countries of the world in terms of consumption of energy and proteins, contained in food products per capita. However, the food patterns were inconsistent with the scientifically grounded norm. Structural imbalance of the food ration was the manifestation of the food crisis in the USSR. To meet primary needs of Soviet citizens in food products the May (1982) Plenum of the CPSU Central Committee adopted the "Food Program of the USSR for the Period until 1990 and Measures of Its Implementation".
The main issue of the Food program was to increase grain harvest. Grain production was the basis for food and fodder supply of the country. Alongside with a substantial increase in food products output in public economy the attention was given to the development of subsidiary individual holdings and fruit-and-vegetable cooperatives. The cooperatives and subsidiary holdings produced a great number of dairy and meat products, vegetables and fruits both for their own needs and for sale in collective farm markets. The state food program predetermined the solution of agricultural problems by means of formerly used methods. The major problem of agriculture had to be solved by means of increase in the gross grain harvest.Thus, the implementation of agricultural policy of Soviet power in the Ukrainian SSR lead to great changes in agricultural production. At that time there appeared such new branches of economy specialized in services to agricultural production as waterworks and land reclamation, feed mill industry, farm building, machine engineering for animal farming and fodder production, procurement of agricultural products and agricultural processing. The study of this policy implementation proves that the average annual rates of agricultural production increased but they were inconsistent with high investments. On the one hand, the Food program testified the "food crisis in the USSR", demonstrating the lag of the world socialist community from capitalist states. On the other hand, it had to increase the level of food self-sufficiency, decrease the procurement of agricultural products from abroad and promote the solution of the world food problem in general.
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Copyright (c) 2015 Oleg Malyarchuk
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