- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
298

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
arable land to each family, without regard to the
number of males.
According to the official reports the economic
position of the Siberian settlers is considerably better
than that of the Russian peasants. The area of land
they occupy is about nine times as large as they
had at home. In Siberia it is reckoned that an
ordinary settler’s farm contains about 38*3 dessiatines
(103*4 acres) of land, while in the mother country the
average is only 4*5 dessiatines. A medium farm in
Russia is estimated to contain 2*4 dessiatines under
corn and o*6 dessiatine of pasture. In Siberia these
figures are increased to 5*4 dessiatines under corn and 6*l
dessiatines of pasture. And with all this the general
level of prosperity is considerably increased in Siberia.
Before leaving home the ordinary settler has on an
average 239 roubles in money or other property,
whereas in Siberia the corresponding property may be
placed at 466 roubles. In this way the colonist in
Siberia has not only covered all his expenses of moving,
but has doubled the capital he brought from home.
In reality the increase is more than here appears, as
the settler arrives at his future home with, on an
average, 161 roubles, and at the end of eleven years
this is increased to 466 roubles. Every year the con
dition of the settlers improves, the area of sown land
and pasture increases and the general prosperity grows.
On the whole it appears that, when the settlers have once
got over the first difficult years, they are as a rule quite
well off. But of course with increased opportunities
of exportation from the interior of Siberia, the con
ditions would be further improved in a great degree.
While Western Siberia in recent years has been
more and more devoted to dairy-farming and the
production of butter, the agriculture of Central Siberia
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