Causes of The Holodomor - Consequence of Collectivization - Procurement Practice

Procurement Practice

In 1928, a by contract policy of procurement (contracts for the delivery of agricultural products) was implemented for kolkhozes and ordinary peasants alike (kulaks had a "firm" plan for procurement). Accordingly, from 1928 through January 1933, "grain production areas" were required to submit 1/3 to 1/4 of their estimated yield, while areas designated as grain were required to submit no more than 1/8 of their estimated yield. However, between autumn 1930 and spring 1932, local authorities tended to collect products from kolkhozes in amounts greater than the minimum required, in order to exceed the contracted target, in some cases by more than 200%. Especially harmful methods utilized in the by contract policy were counter-plan actions, which were additional collection plans implemented in already fulfilled contracts. Such counter-plan measures were strictly forbidden after the Spring of 1933 as "extremely harmful for kolkhoz development."

In 1932 a "1/4 of yield" procurement quota for "grain production areas" of the Ukrainian SSR was planned for implementation. On September 23, 1932, a telegram signed by Molotov and Stalin noted that the harvest of 1932 was "satisfactory", according to estimates provided by the agricultural planning authorities, and therefore requests for seed for winter crops were refused, while total winter tillage acreage demands were increased. Later, Stalin blamed the statistical and planning authorities for inaccurately estimating potential yields and thus a "Commissions for yield estimation" was created on December 17, 1932, by his order. The 1932 harvest figures provided at the time were largely overestimated, and the actual difference between estimated and actual harvest was significant. Such unrealistic figures resulted in demand that was impossible to fulfill and greater grain procurement than was possible from late 1932 through February 5, 1933

The 1932 grain procurement quota and the amount of grain actually collected were much smaller than those of any other year in the 1930s. In 1932, some 5.8 million tons of procured grain were returned to the rural sector, more than had been in 1930 or 1931.

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