Agricultural Policies and Performance.

by K. C. Yeh


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An overview of Communist China's agricultural policies during the period of 1949-1968 and their impact on production and economic growth. During the land reform and First Five Year Plan, collectivization was accomplished. In the Great Leap of 1958-1959, the People's Communes were formed, being mergers of cooperatives combining industry, agriculture, trade, education, and military affairs under one central control. These communes averaged over 4000 households. The subsequent crisis, recovery, and Cultural Revolution in 1960-1968 leaves agricultural performance still at critical levels, as well as a greatly increased population, heavy expenses for developing nuclear defense, and tensions along the Sino-Soviet border requiring a high troop level. The breakthrough needed in agricultural production will depend on the use of chemical fertilizers, increased agricultural investment, and, particularly, the employment of an incentive system. Intensification of revisionist policies (capitalistic incentives) will provide Maoists with their best chance of success. 78 pp. Bibliog.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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