- Project Runeberg -  Russia & Peace /
98

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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i
CHAPTER VII
AGRICULTURE
In the preceding chapters I have more than once
alluded to the importance of Russian agriculture.
I pointed out that the Soviet Government’s decision,
in the spring of 1921, to change its methods and
launch the " new economic policy " was due, above
all, to the bitter antagonism aroused among the
peasants by the system of requisitions, and to
the perilous reduction in the agricultural output
which resulted.
I do not think that it is necessary to analyse
all the factors which brought about the decay of
Russian agriculture after the war broke out in
1914.
The mobilisation of 17,000,000 men and
2,000,000 horses during the first three years of
the war, was in itself a very serious loss to
agriculture ; and their transport, together with all
the provisions necessary to maintain them on the
various fronts, monopolised the railways and water
ways. This led immediately to a reduction of
the area under cultivation ; but in addition came
the stoppage in imports of machinery and
implements which were indispensable for successful
farming . 9S

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