The Outlook for Soviet Agriculture
Among industrialized nations, the Soviet Union is unique in its preoccupation with agriculture. The directives in the Tenth Five Year Plan lay down specific goals for Soviet agriculture through 1980 and, barring massive reallocation of resources, suggest general guidelines for several years thereafter. Soviet planners have identified productivity gains as the key to increasing agricultural production; 40 percent of the growth in farm output during 1976–80 is to come from this source. Decisions being made are shaping the prospects for Soviet agriculture in the early 1980s. Future Soviet meat imports are likely to be sporadic since the regime, while alert to bargain prices in the world market, seems to regard purchases as a last resort to support consumption levels. The future for Soviet agriculture looks very much like the past, plagued with problems. Most Soviet agricultural scientists probably will continue to spend their time and resources in an attempt to duplicate research already done in other countries.