Concept

Landwirtschaftliche Produktionsgenossenschaft

Summary
In East Germany, a Landwirtschaftliche Produktionsgenossenschaft (LPG) (English: 'Agricultural Production Cooperative') was a large, collectivised farm in East Germany, corresponding to the Soviet kolkhoz. In the agriculture of East Germany, the collectivisation of private and state-owned agricultural land was the progression of a policy of food security (at the expense of large scale bourgeois farmers). It began in the years of Soviet occupation (1945–48) as part of the need to govern resources in the Soviet Sector. Beginning with the forced expropriation of all land holdings in excess of , land was redistributed in small packets of around to incoming landless refugees driven off formerly German-held territories to the east. These Neubauern (new farmers) were given limited ownership rights to the land, meaning that they kept it as long as they worked it. In the early 1950s, remaining farmers with largish holdings () were effectively driven out of business through means such as denying access to pooled machinery and by setting production targets that rose exponentially with amount of land owned to levels that were impossible to meet. Alongside these coercive actions of expropriation, old and new farmers with smaller land holdings were increasingly encouraged to pool resources in a legally constituted cooperative form, the LPG, in which initially just land but later animals and machinery were shared and worked together. These were not "state-owned" farms (although a few of these did exist) - land, except as mentioned above, remained legally in private ownership and the LPG, although often dominated by communist party cadres, was a distinct legal entity operating independently as far as was feasible within the constraints of a planned economy. However, from the early 1960s, pressure mounted on remaining independent farmers to join the LPGs and for existing LPGs to merge in more fully collectivised forms.
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