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Agriculture as the Foundation

  • Philip ScrantonEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Post-Leap rural recovery entailed reforms pushing responsibility down the organizational structure to production teams and brigades (huge communes had proved unwieldy), prioritizing agricultural requirements over industrial needs, building rural production facilities and free-standing electric stations, and supporting market-responsive activity by farmers and craftsmen. Yet rural cadres and managers were persistently undertrained and overburdened, and often failed to constrain households eagerness to grow, make, and trade—some even abandoning rural life for illegal entry to town and city commercial circles. Controversies arose over everything from prohibiting eating frogs (they consumed kilos of insects) to surging market fairs (handling an estimated 25% of rural production). Self-reliant counties helped co-ops build small plants to make tools, cement, and fertilizer with local, not central resources. Thereby decentralization opened spaces for steps toward greater rural prosperity, but undermined revolutionary values

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistoryRutgers UniversityCamdenUSA

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