- Why did famine break out in 1932?
- Grain production fell because peasants saw no reason to produce for the state. Kulaks destroyed their grain rather than hand it over.
- What grain that was produced was collected for the towns and export. In the Ukraine especially - the main grain producing area of the Soviet Union - there was a great famine in 1932 - 34.
- The famine was officially denied. Western visitors were shown successful Collective Farms full of happy, well-fed villagers.
- The reality was that somewhere between 3 and 4 million people starved to death, in order to fuel industrialisation.
- The harvest of 1935 was better. Private plots were allowed, so peasants could keep one cow, some chickens and grow some vegetables.
- This was an attempt to stop peasants killing off all their livestock rather than hand it over to the collective farm.
- Yields from collective farms remained low - a problem right through to the demise of the Soviet Union - but Stalin had managed to browbeat the peasants into doing what he wanted.
- Agriculture had paid for industrialisation, whatever the price.