- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
293

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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COLONIZATION AND DEVELOPMENT
293
example of how little is required to produce a complete
revolution in this respect, and how susceptible of
development the Siberian farmer really is. In the course
of a few years a handful of active and capable Danes
have brought about a complete change in that part of
the country, by introducing Danish dairy methods
and teaching the farmers to make butter, so that in
barely fifteen years the Western Siberian export of
butter, which before that time was nothing, has become
a real factor in the world’s market. As an illustration of
this growth it may be mentioned that in 1898 the butter
production of Siberia was 149,000 poods, in 1906,
2,970,000 poods, and in 1909, 8,600,000 poods (140,870
tons). A tram of refrigerator-vans now runs daily
carrying butter to the Baltic from as far east as Novo
Nikolåyevsk on the Obi, and the butter is then tåken
by steamer to England and Paris. Great areas which
were formerly backward, have risen to prosperity owing
to this trade. In the same way other parts of Siberia
may certainly wake to new life with good administration
and the example of capable men.
When we think of the immense work involved in
the regulation of such a number of emigrants every year
and the allotment of suitable land to them all, a work
which, as has been said, is entirely controlled from
Petersburg, it is not surprising that shortcomings may
have been perceptible here and there ; but every year
has seen an improvement in this respect. The mere
work of examining, surveying, and parcelling out the
land to be alloted to settlers required a whole army of
surveyors, whose services it was not always possible to
obtain ; in former years therefore it happened often
enough that when the colonists arrived, they could
not all be provided with land at once, but had to wait ;
and many provisional inquirers (khodoki) who came to

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