By Hugh D. Clout (auth.)
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Extra resources for Agriculture
A maximum size of 15 ha was fixed but farms averaged only about 10 ha. In 1945 one-third of all Polish farms had been enlarged or created by land reform. In west-central Poland, and in areas from which German farmers had been evicted, estates and large farms were frequently kept intact as state farms, but these cover only 13 per cent of total farmland. Collectivisation in Poland began in 1950 but the change of regime in 1956 halted and reversed it. The dual structure of the agrarian economy, with an extremely important family-farm component, was confirmed.
But little has been done by the Community to modernise or restructure West European farming. Expenditure from the guidance section of the FEOGA which in theory is devoted to structural improvements has in fact been used for land drainage, irrigation and the modernisation of marketing facilities. Such programmes are valuable in their own way but they are not what 52 is required to create a smaller, and hence more realistic, number of farms. Every member state has major structural problems for which it is hard pressed to find funds.
This would represent only one-quarter of the 1950 figure of 20 million which had since fallen to 15 million in 1960 and 10 million in 1970, some 12 per cent of the total labour force at that time. In the past the reduction of the agricultural labour force has not been planned and has resulted from natural decrease and the fact that more attractive wages were offered by industry. The task of reducing the agricultural labour force in the 1970s has become more difficult, since the hard core now remains.