How Did Khrushchev Grow The Economy

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Khrushchev did not grow the economy overall, as although there was an improvement in the chemical and space industries alongside an increase in consumer goods production these were achieved at the expense of heavy industrial decline, agricultural stagnation and just as under Stalin the living standards of the Soviet people and his plans to increase production in both industry and farming largely failed. Khrushchev oversaw a downturn in heavy industrial production, the backbone of Stalin’s economy, with output of steel falling. The power of heavy industrial investment to grow a countries economy and power was demonstrated by the USSR under Stalin but Khrushchev ignored this and ensured it made little progress with under investment. After initial…show more content…
He devised the virgin lands scheme as his response to farming inefficiency and starvation but it failed to correct either problem. Khrushchev's failure was not listening to advice, Kazakh officials warned that the 40 million hectares of land were not virgin but infertile, however Khrushchev refused to take note and enacted the policy anyway. Initially crop yields saw an improvement thanks to the virgin lands but after 1958 yields began to decline as the land proved to be infertile. Despite the propaganda boost the scheme proved a failure with the Soviet Union having to import grain from the West, in 1963, to compensate for failings of the virgin lands and the whole Soviet agricultural system. Soviet agriculture was still inefficient and the Government subsidised method of farming ensured that agriculture would remain the same. Agriculture lacked innovation as the state funded collective farms focused only on targets ensuring that it was safer to stay doing the same old target meeting methods than to take risks and develop new methods, like Western farmers, to increase production beyond the state targets. Instead of giving farmers incentives for innovation Khrushchev focused on creating more farm land, this was classic Soviet sidestepping problems as was the move to combat the inefficient central planning of the economy by deflecting the problem to regional bodies, the Sovnarkhovskys. The private plots given to farmers showed how less Government interference could improve farming, as these plots accounted for just 3% of farm land but 30% of total produce demonstrating just how poor the large government funded collective farms were. However, the country did see crop production figures increase, somewhat down to the extra land that Khrushchev

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