Collective farming and communal farming are types of agricultural production in which the holdings of several farmers are run as a joint enterprise. This type of collective is essentially an agricultural production cooperative in which member-owners engage jointly in farming activities.
Typical examples of collective farms are the kolkhozy that dominated Soviet agriculture between 1930 and 1991 and the Israeli kibbutzim. Both are collective farms based on common ownership of resources and on pooling of labor and income in accordance with the theoretical principles of cooperative organizations. They are radically different, however, in the application of the cooperative principles of freedom of choice and democratic rule.
The creation of kolkhozy in the Soviet Union during the country-wide collectivization campaign of 1928-1933 was an example of forced collectivization, whereas the kibbutzim in Israel were traditionally created through voluntary collectivization and were governed as democratic entities. The element of forced or state-sponsored collectivization that was present in many countries during the 20th century led to the impression that collective farms operate under the supervision of the state, but this is not universally true, as shown by the counter-example of the Israeli kibbutz.
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