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103

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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AGRICULTURE 103
of poods of corn (= 46 to 49 million tons).
Those figures are certainly too high, and the fact
that the tax in kind has yielded more than
anticipated only shows, perhaps, that the peasants
have been too heavily taxed. But the reports
furnished to me by the Soviet authorities themselves
and by my delegates show that the position in
1 92 1 was even more serious than it appears from
the figures of the Central Statistical Bureau, quoted
in the League of Nations Report. The harvest
in Ukraine, for instance, was one -half of what
the official statistics state, although their figures
for the total harvest in 1921 do not go higher
than 26’9 million tons. If the figures for 1921
should be still lower than the table indicates, it
is not surprising that last year’s harvest, even
though it was not much over one-half of a
normal harvest, has nevertheless effected a great
improvement in the food situation in Russia.
The cultivation of flax has also decreased
seriously. Before the war there were about i|
million hectares (1 hectare = 2^ acres) under flax,
and the annual crop was 416,000 tons, worth 160
million gold roubles. Part of the crop was used
in the Russian textile industry, and the remainder
formed a valuable article of export, ranking third
in importance after corn and timber. When the
Bolshevik revolution broke out the cultivation of
flax had already gone down by one-half, and the
decline continued between 191 7 and 1921 as
follows :

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