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127

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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INDUSTRY 127
duction costs were excessively high, and, on the
other hand, the famine sent up the prices of the
chief cereals to a very high level. This was
alluded to in Chapter V, and textiles were
mentioned as one example; but the phenomenon
even occurred in the food industry. The cost of
producing i kilo of sugar corresponded to an
expenditure of 10 kilos of rye, although one could
not seil it for more than 7 kilos on the market.
Consequently the factories lost 3 kilos of rye for
every kilo of sugar bartered or sold. The industry
thus suffered no small loss, the working capital
becoming reduced to the extent of about 50 per
cent. It was natural, therefore, for the prices of
these products to rise after the autumn of 1922;
but the drawback is that the rise in prices of
manufactured goods means a reduction in the pur
chasing power of the peasants. This is specially
important on account of the position in which it
places the machinery and agricultural implement
industry.
In spite of the ihadequacy of the credit at the
disposal of the State (500,000 gold roubles instead
of 8,500,000 presupposed in the Government’s
plan), the agricultural implement industry succeeded
in carrying out, between October 1, 1921 and
October 1, 1922, 5 88 per cent. of its programme.
It delivered, for instance, 40,277 iron ploughs,
nearly a million scythes, and 700,000 sickles, and
its output attained a value of 5,568,000 gold
roubles, as against 3,125,000 in 1921. This is
nearly twice what it produced in 1920, although

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