Virgin Project of 1954 in Kazakhstan and Siberia: Dynamics of grain production

Andreenkov S. N. Virgin Project of 1954 in Kazakhstan and Siberia: Dynamics of grain production // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2022. V.7. №3. P. 89-105.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2022-7-3-89-105


The article aims at identifying features of grain production in Siberia and Kazakhstan during the campaign for developing virgin and fallow lands (second half of the 1950s) and subsequent decades of the Soviet and post-Soviet era; such features determined the results and consequences of the Virgin Project in 1954. The author identifies objective and subjective factors affecting the adoption and realization of the virgin land program; considers general and particular practices of plowing new lands; describes the dynamics of sown areas for crops, grain productivity and gross production, its qualitative characteristics in Siberia and Kazakhstan. The author argues that the campaign for developing virgin and fallow lands was a means of N. S. Khrushchev’s struggle for power, which explains its excessively large scale and relatively long duration. The author shows that the virgin land campaign is more significant for the history of Kazakhstan than for the history of Siberia. Due to the new land development in Kazakhstan, the sown areas of crops, primarily wheat, significantly increased; the network of large agricultural enterprises expanded; the infrastructure of agricultural production started to develop. In 1991, these production capacities became the foundations of the contemporary economy of independent Kazakhstan. In Siberia, the sown area of crops has decreased since the mid-1960s, but the gross grain harvest has grown, which indicates opportunities for intensive farming, and such opportunities are gradually realized.


Virgin Project, campaign for developing virgin and fallow lands, grain production, acreage, yield, grain farms, agriculture, Kazakhstan, Siberia.

About the author

Andreenkov Sergey N., PhD (History), Senior Researcher, Sector of Agrarian History, Institute of History, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Akademika Nikolaeva St., 8, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Read 428 times Last modified on Dec 04 2023

Russian Peasant Studies. Scientific journal

Center for Agrarian studies of the Russian Presidental Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)

Hard copies of the journal can be purchased at the Delo e-store or by subscription in the "Press of Russia" Agency (subscription index - Т81017).

Friends and Partners

Rosa Luxemburg foundation
was a partner of Russian Peasant Studies before it was removed from list of approved foundation in 2022


Here you can make free subscription to mailing list of our Journal.
Subscription allows to receive letters with links to download latest Volume and articles in PDF.