The Great Leap Forward in the People’s Republic of China was an economic and social campaign from 1958 to 1962 that was launched by Chairman Mao Zedong in an attempt to restructure the country from an agrarian economy into a communist society composed of people’s communes.

The economic disaster caused by the enforcement of drastic Great Leap policies in agrarian China resulted in one of the largest famines in human history. Excess mortality associated with the famine has been estimated to range from 15–55 million deaths. 

Source: Great Leap Forward – Wikipedia