Communist Agriculture: Farming in the Far East and Cuba by K. Wadekin

By K. Wadekin

A desirable comparative examine of ways the rural adventure of the Soviet Bloc has formed and occasionally hindered improvement within the remainder of the communist international, this ebook examines the agrarian guidelines of China, Mongolia, Vietnam, and Cuba, and gives an account of agricultural improvement in socialist economies which specializes in either the historic and modern points of this improvement.

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At the beginning of the fourth, and longest phase, 1964–76, the degree of urbanization is then back to its 1957 level. It will slowly go down throughout this period, with a net total outflow from the cities of five million people. This outflow masks, however, a small but real rural exodus from the villages into the towns, if we are to consider that 17 million young people were forcibly sent to the countryside after graduating from city schools: 1 million peasants, during each of these twelve years, were then discreetly pouring into the cities, a very small exodus indeed, compared to the natural demographic growth of 18 million new rural people annually.

5 That would leave about 300 cities of over 100,000 inhabitants where the concentrated, ‘city-type’ part of the urban population is concerned. 2 billion persons, the rate of urbanization then 30 The Chinese model reaching 40 per cent). , 1985). Other Chinese economists consider that all the preceding arguments and calculations are just a brilliant exercise in wishful thinking. They underline all the limitations constraining the development of small rural industries. The fragmentation of their markets, the local character of their resources, the small scale of their operations are prohibitive in view of the necessary concentrations which are at the very basis of the industrialization process.

However, a closer examination of these figures leads to some reservations, even if it does not invalidate the reality of an extraordinary progess. The 1980 and 1985 figures are not quite comparable. Until 1983, the only registered enterprises were the collective ones, belonging to the communes (townships) and brigades (villages). After 1983, statisticians began to add enterprises owned by individuals or by private peasants’ associations. Indeed, most of these family (or groups of families) enterprises have been created since 1984, but in any case it cannot be excluded that the early 1980 figures underestimate by a certain margin 32 The Chinese model the whole volume of non-agricultural activities, as they exclude the small cottage industries and family shops.

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