Collective farming

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Collective farming and communal farming are types of agricultural production in which the holdings of several farmers are run as a joint enterprise.[1] This type of collective is essentially an agricultural production cooperative in which members-owners engage jointly in farming activities.

Typical examples of collective farms are the kolkhozy that dominated Soviet agriculture between 1930 and 1992 and the Israeli kibbutzim.[2] 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,[3] but this is not universally true, as shown by the counter-example of the Israeli kibbutz.

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Communist collectivization

The Soviet Union introduced collective farming in its constituent republics between 1928 and 1933. The Baltic states and most of the East European countries (except Poland) adopted collective farming after World War II, with the accession of communist regimes to power. In Asia (People's Republic of China, North Korea, North and South Vietnam) the adoption of collective farming was also driven by communist government policies. In all communist countries, the transition to collective farming involved an element of persuasion by force, and the collective farms in these countries, lacking the principle of voluntary membership, can be regarded at best as pseudo-cooperatives.

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