Nikita Khrushchev in 1953 is developing a plan,sharply increasing the agricultural production of the Soviet Union in order to alleviate the food deficit, which affects the country's population. At the same time, he hopes not only to fill the necessary needs, but also tries to exceed the performance of Western countries while harvesting grain crops.
Development of a special plan for increasing production
In September of the same year the Plenum of the Central Committee is going to,with the participation, apart from Khrushchev himself, of two assistants, several editors of Pravda and one agronomist, in order to determine the severity of the agricultural crisis. Earlier, Georgy Malenkov received a loan to carry out reforms to solve the agrarian problem in the country. It was intended to reduce taxes, as well as encourage individual agricultural plots.
Now Nikita Khrushchev proposed his plan, whichbased on the development of virgin land in Kazakhstan. Thirteen million hectares of previously unprocessed land had to be plowed and cultivated. This land was located on the right bank of the Volga on the border of the North Caucasus, Western Siberia and Northern Kazakhstan.
For or against the development of new lands
Leader of the party of Kazakhstan Shayakhmetov speciallythe potential for the harvest of virgin lands was diminished. He did not want the Kazakh territory to be controlled by Russia. Many leading members of the party, such as Molotov, Malenkov and Kaganovich, were against the development of the new land and made negative comments. Celina will require huge expenses, this plan did not look economical from a logical point of view.
But Khrushchev insisted that a huge numbernew land for cultivation - this is the only way to get a significant increase in yield in a short period of time. And virgin lands are people who will take the country's agriculture to a new level.
An exciting adventure worth thirty million
Instead of allocating funds for paymentwork of local peasantry, Khrushchev is developing a special strategy for attracting new workers for development. This advertisement looked like a socialist adventure for Soviet youth. Campaigns were held in schools, among graduates, and in other educational institutions. And the first virgin lands are three hundred thousand Komsomol volunteers. In the summer of 1954, they went to develop new lands.
After the first excellent harvest, Nikita SergeevichKhrushchev increased the initial targets, and now under plowing was allocated not 13 million hectares of land, but about 30. In the period from 1954 to 1958 (this is the years of virgin land), the state spent 30,700,000 rubles for cultivating new lands.
What a harvest brought the country virgin land
In general, plowland cultivation on virgin soil increasedproduction of grain and softened the food shortage in a fairly short term. Such a huge scale and the initial success of the campaign had for the state the value of historical achievement. But, nevertheless, significant fluctuations in grain production from year to year and the gradual decline in yields did not justify Nikita Sergeyevich's hopes in his striving to surpass the American grain harvest figures by the 1960s.
By the beginning of 1955, 200thousands of tractors, 425 state farms were created, and a total of 30 million hectares of land were plowed, 20 of which were harvested. Thanks to this, virgin land in Kazakhstan justified the efforts made, the total volume of grain production in the country for this year was 60 percent higher than the yield of cereals for the period from 1949 to 1953.
Climatic conditions, or Surprises, which gave virgin soil. A photo
But because of the severe drought, and she oftenmet in the regions of Kazakhstan, plowed lands received only one-tenth the norm of rainfall, the next year the grain yield was reduced by 35 percent. At that time Khrushchev was forced to recognize the validity of some of the conflicting points of view on how to develop virgin land and whether it is worthwhile to master new lands at all. But, nevertheless, he continued to assert that, as a result, the plan will be successful and will reimburse expenses.
The most successful was the harvest of 1956.The yield of grain from virgin lands increased by 180 percent compared with the average previous indicators. Encouraged by the success of the developed and implemented plan, Nikita Khrushchev even made a tour of some virgin lands, during which he presented farmers with a variety of cash prizes, gifts, as well as relevant medals.
Main problems, or Lack of labor
The area where the virgin lands were founded, inmainly consisted of rural settlements with a small population. Tselinniki - these were people who were specially attracted to develop new lands. Mostly from poor villages, orphans and komsomol enthusiasts. Bad living conditions forced many workers to already gather in the first few months and leave the unfit for living region.
As a result of constant emigration,a catastrophic shortage in the workforce. In addition, because young and inexperienced people arrived, they did not have the skills to work effectively both on tractors and combines, and in another area of production. In the years of virgin lands 24 thousand different specialists were sent to the regions of Kazakhstan to develop new lands, but 14,000 of them left this job almost immediately because of poor living conditions.
Lack of equipment and spare parts
There were other problems that were notcreated favorable conditions for the development of production, despite the efforts of Nikita Sergeevich in the supply of agricultural machinery to the virgin lands. Almost all of the newly released equipment was sent from Russian factories; nevertheless, the lack of equipment in the developed areas was still acutely felt. For 1959 in Kazakhstan, for every 218 hectares of land accounted for only one tractor.
The country was not able to produce that quantitymachines, which was required in connection with the sudden expansion of acreage. In addition, the parts for the machinery that were needed for simple repairs also remained deficit. As a result, many tractors were not used, and simply because there was not enough spare parts to eliminate the elementary breakdown.
Climate and soil characteristics
Tillage farming is not suitable forexistence in arid areas. And the area of virgin lands received only from 200 to 350 millimeters of precipitation a year. And as a rule, they fell out in July and August, when the grain ripens, or during harvesting. A drought occurred in the spring, at a time when young immature shoots most need moisture.
In addition, the duration of the growing seasonperiod was very short. Strong winds caused soil erosion, which is also characterized by high salt content. Most likely, these reasons influenced the gradual decrease in grain productivity on virgin lands after 1959.
Extreme working conditions, or What can the Soviet people
People who worked for the good of the countrythey developed agriculture in the regions practically unadapted for this purpose, these are virgin lands. Photos from those times show their joyful smiles, in some pictures you can even see how they are awarded prizes or awards. But did these workers know that many of their efforts were wasted?
Indeed, before the announcement of Nikita Sergeevich about hisThere were very few storage facilities for grain crops in Kazakhstan’s land development plan. Therefore, when the first harvest began, a significant amount of it was left in the area to rot. In addition, the lack of storage facilities forced farmers to harvest quickly during suitable weather.
This has led to overripe and unripethe grains were often mixed, and this caused a high moisture content and, as a result, grain spoilage. If the crop in Kazakhstan averaged about 22 million tons, then the storage tanks could only hold 10. From here we can draw the appropriate conclusions.
Who are the virgin lands?First of all, these are people who, under practically extreme conditions, tried not only to fulfill the plan for grain production established by Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev, but also to overfulfill it, as was customary during the Soviet era. And, as usual, the Soviet people managed even what at first glance looked like impossible and unbelievable.