What do farmers think of agricultural cooperatives?
60 years ago Collectivization of GDR agriculture completed
Similar to the Soviet collective farms, the GDR wants to set up a cooperative system from 1952 onwards. The collective cultivation of large areas promises greater efficiency in production - also in order to improve the supply of food.
In the following years the SED put the farmers under increasing economic pressure. Farmers who have not yet joined an LPG are disadvantaged when they are supplied with operating resources. Soon they will no longer be able to meet the increasingly higher tax obligations. The "Law on Agricultural Production Cooperatives" of June 3, 1959 finally put collectivization on a legal basis.
In April 1960, the collectivization of agriculture was declared to have been successfully completed. Most of the smallholders have become agricultural comrades. In the country, almost 20,000 LPGs and 700 state estates are now managed for the common good and according to state plans. But not everyone agreed:
There is great hope for social progress in the 1960s. In the GDR, too, it is always about increasing productivity. While in 1950 a farmer could only provide seven people with food, in the mid-1960s there were already 17. The combined areas make machining possible, which increases productivity considerably. Now life in the country should also become more attractive. The LPGs finance kindergartens, open their company canteens for all villagers, provide new leisure and cultural facilities and modernize the infrastructure.
It is state policy to keep basic food prices down with subsidies. And the farmers benefit from it. Life in the country is getting better. But it is and will be a tough job. Your character as a farmer, your decision for this profession, is usually made in childhood.
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