AskDefine | Define sovkhoz

Extensive Definition

A sovkhoz listen (Russian language: Совхоз, Советское хозяйство, Sovetskoye khozyaystvo, "soviet farm"), typically translated as state farm, is a state-owned farm. The term originated in the Soviet Union, hence the name. The term is still in use in some post-Soviet states, e.g., Russia and Belarus. It is usually contrasted with kolkhoz, which is a collective-owned farm. Unlike "kolkhozniks", the workers of a sovkhoz were officially called "sovkhoz workers" "работники совхозов" and rarely (and colloquially) sovkhozniki.

Soviet sovkhozes

Under Stalin's collectivization in the USSR campaign, most farmers were forced into either a sovkhoz or a kolkhoz. A sovkhoz would be organized by the state with workers who would be paid regulated wages, while in a kolkhoz the system of payment was different. In both systems, a system of internal passports prevented movement from rural areas to urban areas. In effect farmers became tied to their sovkhoz or kolkhoz in what is described by some as a system of "neo-serfdom".
Initially, sovkhoz farms were the ones which were created by the state confiscating large estates, while kolkhozes were typically created by combining smaller individual farms together.
The farm was headed by a state-appointed director. Most important, capital investment for the sovkhoz was funded by the state budget. Thus, although prices paid by the state for sovkhoz produce were lower than for compulsory deliveries from collective farms, state farms were in a financially much better position. This was a major reason for the subsequent conversion of weak collective farms into state farms in the post-World War II years, a process enhanced by the Soviet policy of agro-industrial integration and the ultimate development of the agroindustrial complex comprising collective and state farms and industrial processing capacity.
The role of state farms in Soviet agriculture grew steadily during the Soviet era. The number of state farms grew from less than 1,500 in 1929 to just over 23,000 by the end of the Gorbachev era in the late 1980s. This expansion resulted partly from state policy - the amalgamation and conversion of collective farms to state farms - and partly from the use of state farms in special programs expanding the area under cultivation, such as the Virgin Lands Campaign. During the 1930s, state farms were on average roughly 6,000 acres (36 km²) of sown area. By the 1980s, they averaged more than 11,000 acres (45 km²) of sown area per farm.
There were considerable differences in the output patterns between collective and state farms, and state farms were viewed as more productive and more profitable than collective farms. Generally speaking, the role of the state farms increased over time from modest proportions in the early 1930s. The sovkhoz came to be important in the production of grain, vegetables and eggs, less important for meat products.
In 1990, the Soviet Union had 25,500 farms, 45% of them being sovkhoz and 55% kolkhoz. The average size of a sovkhoz was 153 km², more than twice the average kolkhoz. Sovkhoz farms were more dominant in the Asian part of Soviet Union.
During the transition era of the 1990s, many state farms were reorganized using joint stock arrangements, although the development of land markets remained constrained by opposition to private ownership of land.


sovkhoz in Czech: Sovchoz
sovkhoz in German: Sowchos
sovkhoz in Estonian: Sovhoos
sovkhoz in Esperanto: Sovĥozo
sovkhoz in Persian: سوخوز
sovkhoz in French: Sovkhoze
sovkhoz in Italian: Sovchoz
sovkhoz in Hebrew: סובחוז
sovkhoz in Lithuanian: Tarybinis ūkis
sovkhoz in Dutch: Sovchoz
sovkhoz in Japanese: ソフホーズ
sovkhoz in Polish: Sowchoz
sovkhoz in Portuguese: Sovkhoz
sovkhoz in Romanian: Sovhoz
sovkhoz in Russian: Совхоз
sovkhoz in Finnish: Sovhoosi
sovkhoz in Swedish: Sovchos
sovkhoz in Tajik: Совхоз
sovkhoz in Ukrainian: Радгосп
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