Before the collectivisation drive of the winter of 1929–30, only a small minority of peasants belonged to kolkhozy, and most kolkhozy included only a minority of the households in the settlement of which they formed a part—on June 1, 1929, the average number of households per kolkhoz was only 17.7. Three-fifths of the 55,000 kolkhozy were TOZy, and the typical kolkhoz did not go beyond the partial socialisation of arable farming. Collective farmers were remunerated by a variety of payment systems, most prominent among which were payment for time devoted to collective work, and payment ‘per eater’, i.e. according to the number of members of the household. These small kolkhozy were simple in their structure and organisation. But in two important respects they were technically more advanced than the individual peasant economies which surrounded them. First, on most kolkhoz land, the fields of the crop rotation were not divided into strips, and this made for more efficient farming. Secondly, over one-third of all kolkhozy used or had access to a tractor. In consequence, yields were somewhat higher on kolkhoz lands than on comparable lands cultivated by individual peasants. But the economic advantages of the kolkhozy were not sufficient to persuade most individual peasants to relinquish voluntarily their traditional way of life.
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R. W. Davies
- Palgrave Macmillan UK
- Chapter Eight
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