Soviet agriculture : the Brezhnev legacy and Gorbachev's cure

by Alec Nove

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This report discusses the economics of Soviet agriculture from the mid-1960s to the present. In particular, it examines (1) the reasons Brezhnev's agricultural policy, designed to correct the deficiencies inherited from his predecessor, proved to be such an expensive failure, and (2) the measures taken by Gorbachev to solve the agricultural problems he inherited. The findings indicate that economic reform is particularly urgent in Soviet agriculture, but resistance to change remains strong. Glasnost has resulted in wider publicity of negative aspects, and people are determined to correct problems. Real improvement, however, depends on encouraging enterprise and a sense of responsibility, as well as on restoring peasant love of the land and a sense that the land belongs at least to the collectivity.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Joint report soviet series. The joint report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1988 to 1993 that included documents published jointly with other organizations, which transmitted major research findings and final research.

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