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105

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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AGRICULTURE 105
its output of textile materials by 82 per cent.
as compared with the previous year ; but it was
short of capital. The Government has decided
to augment the export of flax to 40,000 tons in
1923. In the first ten months of 1921 it was only
5,200 tons, and in the corresponding months of
1922 it was 29,200 tons.
These two examples show with sufficient clearness
that although Russian agriculture is beginning to
recover, it is still greatly crippled. In particular
the conditions are very serious in the famine
districts, where the insufficiency of food, the
shortage of seed-corn, and above all, the terrible
shortage of animals, prevent the peasants from
cultivating their lands on the former scale.
The necessity of coming to the aid of the
peasants in their task was impressed upon me by
the peasant who has become one of the leaders of
the Russian State, M. Kalinin, President of the
Central Pan -Russian Executive Committee.
The peasants in the famine districts [he said] are making
remarkable efforts to renew their live stock. The animals
have always been procured from the east, and before the war
this was done in waves, as it were, of purchase, having an
extent of about 200 kilometres. The peasants journeyed
that distance in order to buy the animals they required in
governments which in turn obtained their own requirements
further to the east. The large decrease in live stock due to
the Great War, the civil wars, and the famine, has caused these
" waves of purchase," to extend as far as 400 or 500 kilo-
metres, which means a considerable loss of time and power,
for transport is difficult in the extreme.
The purchase of animals carried on by the Government
in order to help the peasants in the famine districts, has

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