Four Pests Campaign

Four Pests Campaign

The Four Pests Campaign of 1958 was the first action taken in Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward. With this, he intended to eliminate rats, flies, mosquitoes, and sparrows from China. He suspected that a single sparrow consumed four pounds of grain per year. The program was successful in eliminating sparrows, but it had the unintended effect of bug populations exploding that ate all the crops due to the fact that their natural predator was no more. 20 million Chinese died as a result of the ensuing famine. Despite the widespread famine, China continued to be a net exporter, as Mao sought to maintain face and convince the world of the success of his plans. Foreign aid was refused.

Previous Fact Next Fact

Latest FactRepublic Video

20 Scary Mental & Psychological Illnesses - Part 1