AskDefine | Define kolkhoz

Dictionary Definition

kolkhoz n : a collective farm owned by the communist state

Extensive Definition

A kolkhoz (, ), plural kolkhozy, was a form of collective farming in the Soviet Union that existed along with state farms (sovkhoz). The word is a contraction of коллекти́вное хозя́йство, or "collective farm."
In a kolkhoz, a member, called kolkhoznik (колхо́зник, feminine колхо́зница), was paid a share of the farm’s product and profit according to the number of workdays, while a sovkhoz employed salaried workers. In addition the kolkhoz was required to sell their crop to the State which fixed prices for the grain. These were set very low and the difference between what the State paid the farm and what the State charged consumers represented a major source of income for the Soviet government. In 1948 the Soviet government charged wholesalers 335 rubles for 100 kilograms of rye, but paid the kolkhoz roughly 8 rubles. Nor did such prices change much to keep up with inflation. Prices paid by the Soviet government hardly changed at all between 1929 and 1953 meaning that the State did not pay one half or even one third of the cost of production.
Members of kolkhoz were allowed to hold a small area of private land and some animals. The size of the private plot varied over the Soviet period but was usually about an acre. Before the Russian Revolution of 1917 a peasant with less than 13.5 acres was considered too poor to maintain a family. However, the productivity of such plots is reflected in the fact that in 1938 3.9 percent of total sown land was in the form of private plots, but in 1937 those plots produced 21.5 percent of gross agriculture output.
Members of the kolkhoz were required to do a minimum number of days work per year on both the kolkhoz and on other government work such as road building. In one kolkhoz the requirements were a minimum of 130 days a year for each able-bodied adult and 50 days per boy aged between 12 and 16. That was distributed around the year according to the agricultural cycle. If kolkhoz members did not perform the required minimum of work, the penalties could involve confiscation of the farmer's private plot, a trial in front of a People's Court that could result in three to eight months of hard labour on the kolkhoz, or up to one year in a corrective labor camp.
In both the kolkhoz and sovkhoz, a system of internal passports prevented movement from rural areas to urban areas. Until 1969 all children born on a collective farm were forced by law to work there as adults unless they were specifically given permission to leave. In effect, farmers became tied to their sovkhoz or kolkhoz in what is often described as a system of "neo-serfdom".
See collectivisation in the USSR and agriculture in the Soviet Union for general discussion of Soviet agriculture.

Other countries

See also

Notes

kolkhoz in Catalan: Kolkhoz
kolkhoz in Chuvash: Колхоз
kolkhoz in Czech: Kolchoz
kolkhoz in German: Kolchos
kolkhoz in Estonian: Kolhoos
kolkhoz in Spanish: Koljós
kolkhoz in Esperanto: Kolĥozo
kolkhoz in Persian: کلخوز
kolkhoz in French: Kolkhoze
kolkhoz in Irish: Calchas
kolkhoz in Ossetian: Колхоз
kolkhoz in Italian: Kolchoz
kolkhoz in Hebrew: קולחוז
kolkhoz in Lithuanian: Kolūkis
kolkhoz in Hungarian: Kolhoz
kolkhoz in Dutch: Kolchoz
kolkhoz in Japanese: コルホーズ
kolkhoz in Norwegian: Kolkos
kolkhoz in Polish: Kołchoz
kolkhoz in Portuguese: Kolkhoz
kolkhoz in Romanian: Colhoz
kolkhoz in Russian: Колхоз
kolkhoz in Finnish: Kolhoosi
kolkhoz in Swedish: Kolchos
kolkhoz in Tajik: Колхоз
kolkhoz in Turkish: Kolhoz
kolkhoz in Ukrainian: Колгосп
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