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100

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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100 RUSSIA AND PEACE
checked the development in the direction of a
better division of the land among the peasantry,
which had made good progress during the years
immediately before 1 9 1 7, or rather, before the
war.
Next, over and above all these calamities, came
the terrible drought in the summer of 1921,
which scorched up the Valley of the Volga, the
lands to the east, and Southern Ukraine, and
which dealt such a staggering blow to Russia’s
agriculture that it would unavoidably have caused
an appalling catastrophe, if the Russian authorities
and the foreign relief organisations had not
partially averted the disaster.
It should not be forgotten that the ’ Soviet
Government actually sent nearly 600,000 tons of
seed-corn to the famine districts in the autumn
of 1 92 1 and the spring of 1922. Thanks to the
energetic measures that were taken, Russian
agriculture, though still gravely crippled, is recover
ing little by little, and I am convinced that if it
receives really adequate help it will sooner or
later become even more highly developed than it
was before the Great War.
As I stated in my first chapter, Russia produced
between 1909 and 191 3, on an average, more
than a quarter of the annual cereal harvest of
the entire world. She exported on an average
B*7 million tons of com a year (the four cereals,
wheat, rye, oats and barley), which is more than
the total amount exported by Canada, U.S.A. and
the Argentine together, on which Europe now

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