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Collectivization Collectivization policy adopted by the Soviet government pursued most intensively between 1929 and 1933 to transform traditional agriculture in the Soviet Union and to reduce the economic power of the kulaks Kulaks was the label give to prosperous peasants Under collectivization the peasantry were forced to give up their individual farms and join large collective farms or kolkhozy The process was ultimately undertaken in conjunction with the campaign to industrialize the Soviet Union rapidly But before the drive began long and bitter debates over the nature and pace of collectivization went on among the Soviet leaders especially between Stalin and Trotsky 1925-27 and between Stalin and Nikolay Bukharin 1927-29 Some Soviet leaders considered collective farms a socialist form of land tenure and therefore desirable but they advocated a gradual transition to them in order to avoid disrupting the agricultural productivity necessary to stimulate industrial growth Other leaders favoured rapid industrialization and consequently wanted immediate forced collectivization they argued not only that the large kolkhozy could use heavy machinery more efficiently and produce larger crops than could numerous small individual farms but that they could be controlled more effectively by the state As a result they could be forced to sell a large proportion of their output to the state at low government prices thereby enabling the state to acquire the capital necessary for the development of heavy industry A decision was made by the 15th Congress of the Communist Party December 1927 to undertake collectivization at a gradual pace allowing the peasantry to join kolkhozy voluntarily But in November 1928 the Central Committee and in April 1929 the 16th Party Conference approved plans that increased the goals and called for 20 percent of the nations farmland to be collectivized by 1933 Between October 1929 and January 1930 the proportion of peasant households forced into kolkhozy rose from about 4 percent to 21 percent although the governments main efforts in the countryside were concentrated
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