By Hugh D. Clout (auth.)
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Extra info for Agriculture
Land reform was introduced after complex legislation in 1950 and provided 44 for the acquisition and redistribution of land from estates above a threshold of 300 ha. The reform had the impossible aim of both modernising agriculture and providing adequate employment and decent living standards for the agricultural population. The authorities considered that land reform was not necessary in regions where agricultural modernisation was already under way. In all 700,000 ha were redistributed, mainly in the South and the islands.
Collectivisation was accomplished rapidly in the first group. These backward countries lacked capital to modernise agriculture in the early 1950s and the short-term aim was clearly political. Thus collectivisation in Bulgaria, for example, was completed by 195 7. A year later the collectives were regrouped into a thousand giant farms averaging more than 4000 ha each which replaced 1·1 million private farms. The pace of change had been slower in Romania, but the emphasis was turned abruptly towards collective farms in the early 1960s and by 1962 farming was completely collectivised.
A rational but highly expensive protectionist policy was implemented at the expense of the consumer to cushion the large, and hence politically important, peasant-farming population of the Six and at the same time to allow large and efficient farmers to reap a considerable profit. These new policies eliminated distortions caused by national subsidies and import quotas and established common quality standards for the various commodities. P. saw the tentative beginnings of a gradual alignment of prices that had been proposed by the Commission.