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AGRICULTURAL COLONIES IN THE ARGENTINE REPUBLIC (ARGENTINA):

Mauricio and Clara.

Mauricio, in the province of Buenos Ayres, comprises an area of about 62,000 acres (25,000 hectares). There are 164 colonists in Mauricio, representing 211 families, and a total of 1,045 persons. The soil is not so rich as that of other colonies in Argentina. The only way in which this inferiority can be overcome is by variation of crops, which system requires larger areas than are at the disposal of the colonists. As very high prices are asked for land adjacent to the colony, the administrators have met the difficulty by acquiring some not in its immediate vicinity, to which some of the families at Mauricio are to be transferred. This would permit of the allocation of more land to those that remain, thus enabling them to vary their crops. In 1898 the following crops were sown: wheat, 13,427 acres; maize, 6,952; lucerne, 1,475; flax, 7; barley, 12; rye, 71; oats, 7; tobacco, 2½; vegetables, 136; making a total of 22,089 acres, or about 9,000 hectares. Cattle-breeding being considered one of the most important forms of industry by the settlers, it has been necessary to form large lucerne fields at considerable expense, as natural pasturage is insufficient. Upward of 2,500 head of cattle have been placed at the disposal of the colonists by the Jewish Colonization Association, of which about 800 are plowoxen. A butter and cheese factory is about to be established. Mauricio has a hospital, a steam flourmill, a slaughter-house, and a bath. The principal centers of the colony are Algarrobo and Alice. At each of these places there is a school, attended by 63 boys and 30 girls and 65 boys and 28 girls respectively. A third school has been opened in Mauricio, and is attended by 24 boys and 8 girls. The sanitary condition of the colony is good.
By far the largest group of Jewish colonies in Argentina is that known as Clara (named after the Baroness de Hirsch) in the province of Entre Rios, which was established by the Jewish Colonization Association in 1894. Some of the present settlers in Clara were brought there during the second exodus of the Jews from Russia, in 1891, and were selected from refugees that had arrived in Constantinople. But the more important body of colonists was organized in Russia in 1894; ten groups, of about forty families each, being formed. These were taken direct from the ships in which they arrived to the farms on which they were to settle, where houses, cattle, seeds, implements, and the food necessary for them between seed-time and harvest had already been provided. The first three groups to arrive were settled in three villages of fifty houses each; the next three were established upon a system midway between the village system and that of isolated farms; while some of the families of the remaining groups were established upon isolated farms only. The population of this colony has been increased by a considerable immigration, although many of the early settlers, discouraged by reverses and unable to endure the privations of pioneer life, have withdrawn. At first the houses in Entre Rios were built of clay, but they had to be reconstructed, and are now entirely of brick. It was found difficult to supply the necessary water, as wells had to be bored to a depth of 82 to 98 feet. At Moļseville and Mauricio water was found at a depth of 7 to 9 feet. These conditions made the installation of colonists very expensive.

 

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