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Social welfare of rural residents and reorganization of agricultural enterprises

русская версия

Опубликовано на портале: 31-12-2010
Мир России. 1996.  Т. 5. № 3. С. 127-144. 
Тематический раздел:
Reorganization of agricultural enterprises, which was started in Nizhny Novgorod oblast and is presently being implemented in different oblasts of Russia, aims at creation of private enterprises on the basis of collective farms. One of the objectives of this process is efficientlabor motivation. Regardless of whether or not private ownership will become a motivation for labor activity, privatization of agricultural enterprises significantly changes life style of the rural community. The impact of reorganization on social welfare of rural residents is examined in this publication.
As the first step of survey of social welfare of rural residents it is necessary to analyse their income structure, the main sources of which are individual peasant plots, wages and pensions. The way in which life in rural communities is arranged, ensures people some of their vital needs. These services are not usually provided free of charge, although this does happen sometimes. From raion to raion, from farm to farm, ways of life vary. For example, on some farms workers are fully provided with fodder for their private livestock (for some farm members it is free; other must pay half the price of the fodder. Other receive it an advance of their wages). On other agricultural enterprises people only received right to use land for producing fodder themselves. Reorganization of agricultural enterprises brings forth changes in these relationships as well as shanges in the income structure of rural people.
The services offered by social sphere facilities, mainly medical and educational institutions are of utmost importance for ensuring rural people's social welfare. Surveys which have been conducted show that reorganization doesn't influence the work and condition of social sphere facilities.
Another thing that ensures the social welfare of rural people is an opportunity to exercise and defend their rights, particularly recently obtained rights of land and property owners. Sociological surveys conducted by the Chair of Applied Sociology of Nizhny Novgorod University in NN oblast in the Summer 1995 (N=686), Spring 1996 (N=509) and Summer 1996 (N=689) reveal the impact of reorganization on these four aspects that ensure social welfare for rural people. The survey was conducted in both reorganized and nonreorganized farms of the oblast.
The wages on the farms, reorganized in the winter and spring of 1993-94 are significantly higher than on nonreorganized farms. Reorganized farm workers are less dependent on their individual plots, while on nonreorganized farms individual plots are the only source of workers income, and require much time and effort on farm members side. On the farms, that were reorganized 1-1.5 years ago, the situation with the sources of life-support differs little from that on nonreorganized farms. It is unlikely that this is due only to the short period of time passed since reorganization. Instead it can be explained more by the fact that in this season of reorganization (1994-1995), very weak farms were reorganized.
After reorganization the enterprises continue to support farm members individual plots, but under different conditions. As a rule, the farms lease land shares from former farm members. In other words relationships between the farms and the farm members became more formalized. In reorganized enterprises farm members are better informed in legal matters and their economic activity is higher than in nonreorganized farms. However, in both types of enterprises the process of development of legal competency is hindered by difficult demographic situation.
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