Reforms in Chinese Agriculture Have Had Its Successes and Failures Over Time.

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Reforms in Chinese Agriculture have had its successes and failures over time. Originally, the agricultural sector was operating under a centrally planned system and now it is working its way to a market-oriented agricultural sector. In this paper the focus is going to be on the positive and or negative effects of the Great Leap Forward Movement, The Cultural Revolution, the commune system, and, the "responsibility system." Furthermore, the performance of grain production over the period of 1952 to 1988 will be briefly discussed.

An important first movement was The Great Leap Forward Movement, which was headed by Mao Zedong in 1958. This movement brought about the creation of communes, which is a collective economic unit. This
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"Between 1958 and 1984, the communes were responsible for procuring grain, for drawing up plans for subordinate units (the production brigades and teams), and for managing water and pest control, afforestation, and transportation projects. They also operated facilities for marketing crops, as well as stores selling consumer goods, seed, fertilizer, implements, and other farm inputs." So basically by 1985 the communes were transformed to economic units with no political influence. The commune movement was the key starting point for Chinese rural agriculture to become decentralized or in other words become free from complete control of the central government.

The reform of agriculture was required when the Chinese leaders finished experimenting with the commune system and central economic planning. They became aware of its many down falls and so they began to concentrate on a more market-oriented economy. One of the main shortcomings of the commune system was that farm workers had no incentive to work hard because they were not rewarded for their efforts. The farmers knew how to run the farms efficiently, but their hands were tied under the commune system by the central government.

All things changed when the "responsibility system" came into effect. "This responsibility system is similar to private farming in a market economy, with
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