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(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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the large estates where the soil was more
scientifically cultivated, and where the crop per hectare
was considerably in excess of what it was on the
land tilled by the peasants—relatively in the
proportion of about 5 to 4, or even 4 to 3.

Nevertheless, I believe that this decline is only
temporary, and that a considerable increase in
aggregate production will come without restoring
the large estates.

It should be remembered that Russian
agriculture is so extensive and in general so utterly
primitive that comparatively small improvements
in methods and in implements will have a great
effect on the total amount of the yield. As I
mentioned in my first chapter, the pre-war
production of the four chief cereals (wheat, rye, barley
and oats) in Russia averaged 700 kilos per hectare
(2 1/2 acres) per annum, while in Canada it was
1,230 kilos. In Norway the average is over
1,700 kilos per annum. No doubt this difference
is partly due to the dry Russian climate with the
frequent droughts. But, nevertheless, it is certain
that a little instruction and good example would
achieve good results. The best proof that the
Russian peasant is capable of improvement was seen
in the enormous increase of butter production,
brought about with the assistance of Danish dairy
experts in West-Siberia in the course of only a few
years, as was mentioned in my previous chapter.

One circumstance which should have an
important bearing on this matter is the fact that so
many hundreds of thousands of Russian peasants,

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