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AGRONOMICAL SERVICE of the VILLAGE in days of the New Economic Policy (on materials of the Tambov province)

milana of ESIKOVA


VILLAGES in days of the New Economic Policy

(on materials of the Tambov province)

In article the interrelation of traditional country culture and agricultural production reveals. Low indicators of country production were caused by a number of factors, first of all climatic and also the organization of production. The system of reconstruction of local agronomics created conditions for application by mistrustful peasants of more intensive agrotechnology.

The article examines the interrelation between traditional rural culture and agricultural production. Low efficiency of farming was caused by several factors, including Russian climate and poor production management. Revival of the so-called "land plot system" fostered spread of more intensive agricultural methods among the mistrustful peasants.

agropromotion, land management, education, standard of farming; agricultural propaganda, land management, education, farming standards.

ESIKOVA Milana Mikhaelovna — to. and. N, associate professor of history and philosophy of the Tambov state technical university

In days of the New Economic Policy in the European Russia there was a reconstruction of a system of agronomical service which was understood as a complex of actions for establishing production, to increase in the standard of farming and livestock production, introduction of scientific achievements and the best practices. The issue of tasks, objects and methods of this service became again topical. At the beginning and the middle of the 1920th a certain influence on specialists of land bodies and a part of the party and economic nomenclature were rendered by the leading theorists of organizational and production school of the Russian agrarian science, first of all A.V. Chayanov.

After establishment of the Soviet power the creation of a centralized system of management of agriculture began. Provincial and district land bodies were formed. The main method of involvement of experts in them was labor mobilization. Priority attention of land bodies in the conditions of military communism was paid to agroservice of collective farms. So-called "class approach" was applied to the individual peasantry: the agronomical help, first of all, appeared to the poor, and prosperous layers lost it. Moreover, confiscation of live and dead stock and other resources at prosperous peasants with their subsequent representation in the order of collective farms, families of Red Army men, farms, "victims of a counterrevolution" was carried out. Within so-called intra volost redistribution the seeds were withdrawn from all farms which had their "surplus". Agroactions in the village were carried out generally within the "shock" campaigns which basic method of carrying out was a distribution of plan targets and compulsion of peasants to their execution. Party and Soviet bodies were the main organizers of "shock" campaigns; specialists of land bodies, as a rule, played a supporting role in them.

Transition to the New Economic Policy demanded mitigation of consequences seven-year-old (since 1914) wars. Agriculture was in a condition of full decline. One of the reasons of backwardness of agriculture, including and during the pre-revolutionary period, was extremely low level of agrarian culture.

Originally the New Economic Policy did not change a situation: the spring sowing campaign took place with use of military and communistic receptions, including compulsory intra volost redistribution of seeds. However in process of expansion of the New Economic Policy of change in the principles of agronomical service became more and more obvious.

For growth in the village of the moods connected with fast and better future promotion of agronomical knowledge had great value. Shots of local agronomists were strongly forged with active assistance of the authorities. They with enthusiasm were accepted to promotion of agronomical measures and almost unanimously reported about country susceptibility to innovations, to a thought of an opportunity in the easy and inexpensive ways sharply to raise productivity. In fact to convince the classical peasant to change something in "antiquated" technologies of the production very difficult, conservatism of its thinking is connected with fear of increase in risk of hunger ("fathers grandfathers so lived — did not starve to death"). Another matter when the village is young in the age relation, it is inclined to trust the central power and its promotion and when on pilot and state farm fields, and even at someone from fellows villager who took with assistance of the state agronomical measures the productivity really increases.

It is possible to argue how mass agropromotion and the organization of agricultural study promoted rise in agriculture by the end of the studied period, but impact of all this on public opinion of the village and attitude of peasants was undoubted. Practical results of agropromotion it were available in the spring of 1922. The increased activity of the peasantry when holding a sowing campaign was everywhere noted. "Thirst for sowing unusually strong" — noted Tambov to sponges of RCP(b). Into provinces to the correct crop rotation passed about 100 families of the Kirsanovsky County; in the Borisoglebsk and Morshansky Counties 69 indicative sites on country polyakh1 were put.

1 State Archive of Socio-political History of the Tambov Region (SASPHTR), t. 840, op. 1, 1532, l. 22.

In documents of spring — summer of 1922 it was noted that the relation to agropromotion the most attentive, desire of peasants to improve the economy, to organize agrosites and indicative polya2 was everywhere observed.

Restoration in days of the New Economic Policy of a system of agrosites was of great importance. Territorial agronomical sites for the first time were created in 1910. The local agronomics was important also in itself and as network of the small, but quickly taking roots in the zone centers of a crop, education, an opytnichestvo. The begun World War I struck a hard blow to few agronomical personnel. In the next years the activity of agronomical sites was almost stopped.

In a basis of the local organization of the agronomical help to the population an integrated approach to country economy was put. The main objective in this regard was agroservice not of the separate industries, but economy in general. In this regard in each area it was necessary to create the uniform agrosite led by the agronomist. The last was considered not so much as the expert in the field of crop production how many as the economist and the organizer of agricultural production. Their impact on the peasantry was big. For example, in Morshansky and Kirsanovsky Counties on the basis of agrosites agricultural courses were conducted, circles worked, consultations were regularly given to peasants. With active participation of workers of agrosites the Morshansky agricultural exhibition — one of the first in the province was open, and in the Kirsanovsky County the agricultural Council which headed work on rendering the practical help to peasants in mastering scientific methods of housekeeping was created.

During the period from October, 1923 to October, 1924 the agronomical personnel of the province made 68 people: 6 district agronomists, 49 district police officers, 6 assistants to local agronomists and 7 district experts. In 1924/25 the number of agroworkers reached 101, and at the beginning of 1926 — the 119th persons. Were carried out by them to this period

2 In the same place, t. 840, op. 1, 1532; 1532, l. 47 (about); 1585, l. 3.

courses which number of listeners was over 3 thousand persons. At reading rooms the agronomists organized 93 agricultural circles. In 1927/28 the number of agrosites reached 112, and the agropersonnel grew to 188 in number. Organizing promotion of agricultural knowledge, local party and Soviet bodies considered aspiration of peasants to demonstration of results of application of the advanced methods of housekeeping. For this purpose the network of agrofields and indicative sites extended. In 1925 59 indicative sites on lands of agronomists and 33 were organized — in country farms; excursions and agricultural exhibitions became widespread.

It is indisputable that agropromotion those years had pronounced class character. So, it was specified in recommendations and instructions that the strong peasant as he one gets stronger against the background of the general poverty, cannot be considered as advanced in the Soviet assessment. The local agronomist, it was emphasized further as the public Soviet figure should not forget an ultimate goal — transition from individual capitalist country economy to economy planned, collective and socialist. Methods of individual service of economy by agronomists appeared old and therefore could be used when did not stir mass activity of the agronomist.

The peasantry was wary of innovations, as a rule. The large role was played in this case by degree of education and age: what the householder was younger, especially it is susceptible to innovations. When spoke to peasants about low profitability of their farms, they agreed; but if they were offered to try new methods of maintaining farms, they in most cases gave the stereotypic answer: "Also are glad and not in forces. In words it also is good". Not always peasants believed also in the indicative events held on agrosites. "And horses on the agrosite others, both tools not our country, and to manure the quantity, excessive for the peasant is piled" — such reviews of indicative fields quite often could be heard from peasants.

American researcher D. Kerans

suggested that by the end of the 20th the peasantry of the Central Black Earth in general ripened for introduction of agronomical innovations, to transition to Mnogopolye, to a thought of an opportunity in the easy and inexpensive ways sharply to raise productivity. The People's Commissariat for Agriculture, according to him, was almost ready to accelerate introduction of various improvements by moderate coercion. Application of all these ways in the Central Black Earth would give rise in productivity for 100%. The researcher was guided generally by reports of agronomists. However it is necessary to consider the unconditional aspiration of agronomists to varnish the reports and hypocrisy, natural to peasants, at communication with authorities.

The country conservatism in the choice of agrotechnological systems is widely known, in documents their susceptibility to those innovations which usefulness was obvious and clear to them was emphasized. So, chemical means against fungal diseases the peasants treated a protravlivaniye of seeds suspiciously as were afraid to spoil sowing material, and this practice took root in the village slowly. And acquaintance, for example, to a plow vzmet of late steam on the dry soil was at once perceived positively.

Most of the Russian scientists-agrarians considered that change of systems of agriculture is caused first of all by population density change. However in the 1920th many of them came to a conclusion that transition from steam grain systems to the intensive systems of agriculture is defined by market conditions to a large extent, than population density. Without favorable conditions for product sales the intensive systems of agriculture are not introduced. To the low-power yards with excess labor it was often excessive due to the lack of means, and the prosperous yards do not have a reason to pass to them. Could lead gradual transition of the low-power yards to intensive production within steam grain systems by introduction of modest agrotechnical improvements to the fact that the first droughty year would become for them the last.

It is not accidental that by the end of the 20th the land-poor and low-power farms began to react to this danger, creating

collective farms and using the privileges received at the same time from the state.

The drawn class line in policy, in particular in tax, had an adverse effect on improvement of country farms, their transition to new agrotechnologies. Especially harmful consequences had emergency measures of 1927 — 1928

Promotion of agricultural knowledge and the agronomical help to the country population yielded some positive results: the standard of farming improved, peasants used more perfect methods of housekeeping. In 1926 the mnogopolny crop rotations practiced for 10% of total area under crops, in 1927 — for 15%; more than 10% of cultivated area of the province plowed under a ploughland; rapidly the area (from 1925 to 1926 — by 264%) under crops of herbs increased, but the level of 1913 was not reached; a little cultivated area under some labor-consuming cultures increased; the millet began to be forced out by oats gradually.

But in general quantitative results of agropromotion and land management were small that was caused by weakness

land bodies and contradictions of land policy which tried to combine strengthening and restriction of the actual land use. In 1928 in the country only about 1% of the area of summer it was plowed by tractors. Generally the antiquated plow continued to be applied. Sowing of summer was made mainly manually, when cleaning also widely practiced work as a braid and sickle. In zernoproizvodyashchy areas, bread was raised generally in the old manner: the peasant sowed one site from year to year with a rye or wheat and when in 5 — 8 years the soil was exhausted, the site went under a deposit approximately on the same term. The land management which was carried out in economically important and densely populated area — the Tambov province, influenced changes of social structure of the village. The share of prosperous decreased, and the share of melkoposevny farms strongly grew. Weakening of opportunities of individual farms was favorable to the state politically, but not favourably economically. The land management policy increased a gap between the interests of the power and the village and between the purposes and opportunities of the state.

Paulsen Sandra
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