Prodrazvyorstka (prodovolstvennaya razvyorstka) (Продразвёрстка, продовольственная развёрстка in Russian, or food apportionment) was a governmental program during the Russian Civil War, which obliged peasantry to surrender the surpluses of almost any kind of agricultural produce for a fixed price. The absolute limit of a given product for personal or household needs was pre-determined by the state.
In 1918, the center of the Soviet Russia was cut off from the most important agricultural regions of the country. The reserves of bread were running short, causing hunger among the urban and the poorest rural population. In order to satisfy the minimal food needs, the Soviet government introduced a strict control over the food surpluses of the prosperous rural households. Since many well-to-do peasants were extremely unhappy with this policy and tried to resist it, they were branded as "saboteurs" of the bread monopoly of the state and advocates of the free "predatory", "speculative" trade. The Soviets believed that prodrazvyorstka was the only possible way to procure bread and other agricutural products in the times of war.
Prodrazvyorstka began in the second half of 1918 in the regions of Tula, Vyatka, Kaluga, Vitebsk and others. It was introduced all over the Soviet Russia on January 11, 1919 by the decree of the Sovnarkom. Prodrazvyorstka was also introduced in Ukraine and Belarus (1919), Turkestan and Siberia (1920). In accordance with the decree of the People's Commissariat for Provisions on the procedures of prodrazvyorstka (January 13, 1919), the amount of different kinds of products designated for collection by the state (some historians call it an outright confiscation) was calculated on the basis of the data on each guberniya's areas under crops, crop capacity and reserves of the past years. In guberniyas, the collection plan was broken down between uyezds, volosts, villages, and then separate peasant households. The collection procedures were performed by the agencies of the People's Commissariat for Provisions and prodotryads (продовольственный отряд, food brigades) with the help of kombeds (комитет бедноты, committees of the poor) and local Soviets.
Initially, prodrazvyorstka covered the collection of bread and fodder. During the procurement campaign of 1919-1920, prodrazvyorstka also included potato and meat. By the end of 1920, it included almost every kind of agricultural products. According to the Soviet statistics, the authorities collected 107.9 million poods (1.77 mln.metric tons) of bread and fodder in 1918–1919, 212.5 mln poods (3.5 mln. metric tons) in 1919–1920, and 367 mln. poods (6,01 mln. metric tons) in 1920–1921.
Prodrazvyorstka allowed the Soviet government to solve an important problem of supplying the Red Army and urban population and providing raw material for different industries. Prodrazvyorstka left its mark on the commodity-money relations, since the authorities had prohibited selling of bread and grain. It also influenced many, if not all, aspects of relations between the city and the village and became one of the most important elements of the system of the war communism.
With the end of the Russian Civil War, prodrazvyorstka lost its actuality. Moreover, it did much damage to the agricultural sector and caused peasant's growing discontent. As the government switched to NEP, prodrazvyorstka was exchanged for prodnalog (food tax) by the decree of the 10th Congress of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) in March of 1921.