Steps taken by the Chinese Communist Party since 1949 to Improve Agriculture

China’s population is about 20% of the world population while it
possesses just 7% of the world’s arable land. Feeding its people has,
therefore, been the country’s major concern through much of its history.
When the Communist party of China (CPP) came to power in 1949 as a result
of the Communist Revolution, the country had been devastated due to years
of civil war, foreign interference, social unrest and fragmentation. Its
economy was in ruins and the communist party set out to revolutionize all
aspects of the Chinese society including the economy. Since Mao-Zedong’s
brand of Communism was peasant-based rather than urban-based, the Communist
Party of China was particularly focused on agricultural reforms and took
several measures to improve the agricultural production and the living
standards of the peasants. Although these policies have produced mixed
results, China is now by and large self-sufficient in food production. In
this paper I shall discuss the various policies implemented by the CCP
since 1949 in the areas of agriculture and the peasantry and describe the
The Peasant Base of CCP
Mao Zedong was the undisputed leader of the CPP when it came to power
in China in 1949. His version of Communism (Maoism) was somewhat different
from the Communism envisaged by Karl Marx in which the urban workers were
to be at the vanguard of Communist revolution. China had no industrial base
of note and hence no significant urban working-class population. Most of
the vast Chinese population were poor, ill-fed peasants who lived in the
countryside. It was these peasants who were organized as the Communist
power base by Mao Zedong during his long and hard struggle against the
military forces of KMT, the Japanese and the “Long March.” Mao was himself
the son of a peasant farmer and could relate to their deprivations. It was
the Chinese peasants that Mao repea…


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