Article 4419

Title of the article



Zima Veniamin Fedorovich, Doctor of historical sciences, senior staff scientist, Institute of Russian history of the Russian Academy of Sciences (19, Dmitriya Ulyanova street, Moscow, Russia), E-mail: 

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Background. In the USSR, at the final stage of NEP, the food problem was of paramount importance. The growing export of grain and other types of food was the only stable source of currency for the country’s socialist industrialization. This was the main reason that did not allow us to finally solve the food problem in order to save the country from the threat of another famine. To save state funds, agricultural lending was carried out according to the residual principle. At the same time, agricultural cooperatives were preferred, the number of which increased annually. The party leadership of the country was not satisfied with the low pace and the voluntary form of cooperation. The Politburo of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks (Bolsheviks) decided to accelerate the collectivization of peasant farms and the creation of agricultural cooperatives from them. The complete collectivization of agriculture was accompanied by dispossession and eviction of not only the prosperous, but also the middle peasantry. The consequences of the excesses of collectivization led to a massive famine of 1932–1933. The purpose of the article is to show on the new documentary archival material the importance and necessity for the young Soviet state of the primary solution to the food problem in 1925–1929.
Materials and methods. The evidence bank of the new archival documents underlying the article consists of unpublished decisions and decisions of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR, the Politburo of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks, the People’s Commissariats and their departments on the food problem. During the search and processing of archival materials, modern computer technology methods were used. The theoretical basis of this study was the method of the dialectical approach to the development of historical events and the economic justification of the state importance of the priority solution of the food problem and ensuring food independence of the country.
Results. At the second final stage of the new economic policy pursued by the Soviet government in 1925–1929, the solution to the food problem was blocked. In a critical situation connected with a 1924 crop failure in the Central Black Earth Region, the export of basic breads (wheat, rye and oats) declined and jeopardized lending to industrialization and the construction of factories that had begun. The Politburo of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks (Bolsheviks) decided to conduct additional state procurements on the Middle Volga and southern regions of the USSR (Rostov, Stavropol) and Krasnodar region. As a result, the supply of bread to large cities was greatly reduced and the state was forced to return to the card system of its distribution. The Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU (B.) Saw the way out of the crisis only in the collectivization of agriculture and the socialization of peasant grain stocks. 

Key words

NEP, market economy, food exports, the course towards the country’s industrialization, the beginning of the agriculture collectivization, food problem 


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