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(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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And, on the other hand, I do not anticipate any
great results from foreign cultivation of Russian
land so long as the country’s general economic life
remains unsound, as it must while want is the
prevailing condition in the most fertile tracts of
Russia and Ukraine. When in time foreign opinion
gains confidence in the Russian peasantry, and
gives credits to its representatives for purchases of
machinery, seed-corn and insect-killers, and when
the Soviet Government can simplify the bureaucratic
organisation which still separates Russian
agriculture from foreign capital, a co-operation profitable
to both sides will at length become possible.

Without foreign help the recovery of Russian
agriculture will take a long time and involve
enormous sacrifices. When I lately drew the
attention of M. Kalinin, President of the
Pan-Russian Central Executive Committee, to the
destructive effect on foreign opinion produced by
the export of Russian corn, he answered that the
Russian Government desired nothing more than
to keep the whole harvest of 1922 to supply the
famine districts. He himself anticipated that the
number of persons needing relief would rise to
nearly 5 millions before the next harvest, and to
feed them all is a task far beyond the power
of the Russian authorities.

But [he declared] what we are exporting is a minimum,
forced upon us by the absolute needs of agriculture.

We export especially fodder, a little bran, selected oats,
first quality wheat, etc. Our agriculture must really procure
gold at all costs.

Last year it bought insect-killers at a cost of three million

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