The University of Wisconsin Press

Asian Studies


Agricultural Production in Communist China, 1949-1965
Kang Chao

The Chinese economy sustains a population that will soon number a billion, more than one quarter of the world’s people. China’s agriculture is faced with the staggering need to clothe and feed this population, and its success or failure is now a matter of worldwide significance.

Despite the gravity of the problem, Western knowledge of China’s agricultural productivity of the last two decades has been scant. Professor Kang Chao’s careful study is the first to assess China’s agricultural performance with a high degree of certainty and comprehensiveness.

Chao analyzes the economic impact of the institutional changes in rural China which were carried out at a high speed under the policy of socialist transformation. He discusses early land reform attempts, the subsequent governmental step-up of collectivization, and the decision to organize the communes.

This is a thoughtful and reliable study that serves an imperative need, especially in view of the growing realization of the world’s population crisis. It will be of particular value to specialists in China and the Far East, agricultural economics, and economic development, and to the growing number of interdisciplinary scholars concerned with the seeming inability of the earth’s resources to feed an exploding world population.


Kang Chao is professor of economics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and is the author of The Rate and Pattern of Industrial Growth in Communist China and The Construction Industry in Communist China.


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December 1970
LC: 70-021766 HD
372 pp.   6 1/8 x 9 1/4
3 maps
ISBN-10: 0-299-05770-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-299-05770-1   
Cloth $30.00 s

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