The process of establishing collective farms is called collectivization. The Soviet Union undertook the world's first campaign of mass collectivization in 1929-1933. Soviet peasants in collective farms received a type of dividend after compulsory deliveries were made to the state.
In the Soviet Union, collectivization was introduced in the late 1920s as a scheme to boost agricultural production through the organization of land and labor into collectives called collective farms (kolkhozes) and state farms (sovkhozes). At the same time, it was argued that collectivization would free poor peasants from economic servitude under the kulaks. It was hoped that the goals of collectivization could be achieved voluntarily, but when the new farms failed to attract the number of peasants hoped, the government blamed the oppression of the kulaks and resorted to forceful implementation of the plan.
Due to unreasonably high government quotas, farmers often got far less for their labor than they did before collectivization, and some refused to work. In many cases, the immediate effect of collectivization was to reduce grain output and almost halve livestock, thus producing major famines in 1932-33.1 In one extreme episode, several million peasants, mainly in the Ukraine, died in a famine during the drought of 1932-1933 after Stalin forced the peasants into the collectives (this famine is known in Ukraine as Holodomor).
In Communist-governed countries such as the Soviet Union, Hungary, North Korea, Cuba and China, farmers were not permitted to grow their own food, but were forced to help cultivate government crops. The harvest was supposed to be distributed to the collective members. Some socialist countries permitted farmers to cultivate the land around their house (about one acre) for private consumption, which often spelled the difference between starvation and survival.
In North Korea in the late 1990s, the collective farming system collapsed under the strain of droughts. Estimates of deaths due to starvation ranged into the millions, although the government did not allow outside observers to survey the extent of the famine. Aggravating the severity of the famine, the government diverted international relief supplies to its armed forces.