Dazhai village. The Great Leap Forward was a failure, bringing widespread famine to China where an estimated 30 million people are believed to have died. A "back to basics" campaign was adopted. In 1961, collectivisation declined as authorities allowed peasants small liberties such as the right to cultivate small parcels of land and sell their excess produce at market. This policy facilitated a production recovery. However, Mao Zedong, who now occupied a more backstage role, was not content with this return to the past, that gave precedence to the family unit ahead of collective production. In 1964, he launched the Dazhai model, after publishing a Supreme Directive stating "in agriculture, learn from Dazhai". Thus Dazhai became a national agricultural model for all Chinese farmers.
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