Land community (zemelna hromada, aka land society [zemelne tovarystvo]). In early Soviet Ukraine an association of peasant households that collectively received from the state the right to use fields, meadowland, and pastures. Resembling the Russian obshchina, the unit was established on 27 May 1922 and was confirmed by the USSR Land Code of 30 July 1930 (see Land law). Membership in a land community was compulsory. A general meeting of members had the right to decide on one of three forms of land use: (1) communal use, whereby cultivated land was redistributed periodically to each family household according to its size; (2) the distribution of land to each household on a permanent basis; or (3) common cultivation by an artel, whereby the artel could take on the function of the land community. Regulations permitted a household or group of households to choose forms of land use different from those prevalent in the land community; such households were allocated land for the purpose. In 1928 the Soviet government began restricting the rights of land communities, and in 1930, as a result of collectivization policies, it abolished them.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]