Council of Agriculture

The Revolution is often associated with a sense of catastrophe as a natural result of the fear of the privileged few -- the minority that expropriates the toil of others. But -- serious as the damage of a Civil war would be  the harm would never be so great as the misery wrought in a normal, perfectly peaceful yearÑunder capitalism. We have seen how the socialization of the ownership of housing, clothing and foodstuffs would reduce sensibly the happy time of those who live today in overabundance. But we have seen on the other hand how the laborious producers would improve their conditions by a more equitable distribution of goods.

What about the land? The transition from private monopoly to collective ownership or socialization will not in any way affect the land itself. It will still be there -- only that instead of representing continued slavery for the poor peasant, in behalf of the landlords, this same land will be a fountain of wealth for the benefit of all.

The territory of Spain covers 50,521,002 hectares, of which about 20,000,000 hectares are cultivated, 25,000,000 are wild plains and mountains, and 5,000,000 urban centres, roads, rivers and railroads.

The possibility of extending productive areas is still great. Just as in Holland whole regions of ocean lands have been gained, so in Spain, entire provinces of half desert and bare landscape can be made fertile. 1

The following is the approximate distribution of the 20 million cultivated hectares:2

Cereals and Vegetables ...................... 14,800,000 Hectares

Olive Trees ...................... 1,720,000

Vineyards...................... 1,340,000

Industrial Plants...................... 650,000

Roots, Tubercles and Bulbs...................... 480,000

Fruit Trees...................... 450,000

Artificial Plains...................... 465,000

Horticulture...................... 88,000

Special Cultivation...................... 7,000

Of the cereals, wheat covers 4,200,000 hectares, oats 1,600,000, rye 740,000, hay 600,000, corn 480,000, and rice 43,000. The wheat area is as follows, on the basis of quintales metricos in 1929:

Old Castillia ..................... 9,383,200

New Castillia .................... 12,663,000

Aragon and Rioja ................ 2,123,000

Andalusia ....................... 8,543,750

Basque Navarre......1,278,750

Catalonia ........ 1,841,000

Levante ......... 1,542,750

Galicia and Asturias ...... 381,650

Adjacent Isles ...... 886,250

The orange area occupies about 60,000 hectares plus 500,000 trees distributed elsewhere.

We need not go into further details on the Spanish agricultural production. If the Revolution does not succeed at first in raising the agricultural production, it will not diminish it. It will at least assure a real distribution of the products to nourish the millions of workers on the land who have been living more like beasts of burden, ignorant of any human happiness.

There are numerous agricultural schools and model farms throughout the country. There are factories producing agricultural machines and tools. There are not enough of either but they provide a good basis for unlimited development.

With the increase of human needs, all the development of modern technical processes of production must be utilised. At the same time, specialisation will supplant the individual peasant, just as the modern industrial worker has taken the place of the artisan. The modern peasant must produce for society in the same way as does the factory worker. This evolution does not imply necessarily, concentration in agriculture. It may well be realised through specialisation of both the large and small agricultural enterprises.

A general plan is, however, advisable. Councils of agricultural production in each locality would combine s and constitute the agricultural syndicate of the area. The vine growers, olive growers, sugar beet growers, etc., would form their separate syndicates, and, altogether, would constitute the branch council for a given zone.

This branch Council would look after the experimental schools, coordinate the problems of internal nature and the growing needs of industrialisation of agriculture. The branch Councils would unite with similar Councils of other industries, such as transportation, sanitation, motor power, etc. and form economic Councils with the geographic unit taken as a basis. In union then with the regional and federal councils of economy, and in direct line with all the other agricultural councils of the country, the coordination of the factors of production would be assured.

In the process of distribution of agricultural products, the Councils of credit and exchange in their respective localities would maintain complete statistics of production and consumption, as well as of the land, machinery, and labor available. It is through the medium of the council of credit and exchange (which takes the place of the banking system under capitalism) that the products are bartered for machines, tools, clothing, food, etc., in accordance with the requirements and needs of producers and consumers.

  • 1. Spain has steppes ranging over 75,000 kilometres, 1/7 of its territory, These bare landscapes are mostly arid and would require much transformation to make them fertile. The rivers in Spain carry off enormous quantities of fertile soil and minerals, impoverishing dangerously great tracts of land. There is immediate necessity for the construction of water dams and strategic defences where most needed. (Geofilo -- Problems of Spain -- "Tiempos Nuevos" -- April 1936, Barcelona.)

    We need not entertain too many illusions about the soil of Spain. The geologist Lucas Mallada has tabulated its agricultural capacities as follows:

    Bare Rocky Land -- 10%
    Areas of Small Productivity -- 35%
    Areas of Fair Productivity -- 45%
    Areas of Exceptional Productivity -- 10%

  • 2. A hectare contains 100 acres.