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Climate Dependence and Food Problems in Russia, 1900-1990: The Interaction of Climate and Agricultural Policy and Their Effect on Food Problems Paperback – 6 Mar 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 383 pages
  • Publisher: Central European University Press (6 Mar. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 963732609X
  • ISBN-13: 978-9637326097
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 2 x 22.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,444,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

N. Dronin. received his degree in geography from Moscow State University with special studies in river landscapes and his PhD in 1999 with a thesis on the development of the theory of Soviet theoretical geography 1900-1960. He has long been interested in environmental problems and published several articles in central russian papers. He lectures in Moscow State University and is involved in a number of international projects concerning environmental problems in Russia. The current book evolved from work with Kassel University (Germany) on climate change and food security in Russia. E. Bellinger. received his degree in biology from the University of London and his PhD in ecology in 1968. He was a senior lecturer at the University of Manchester (UK) and Director of the Pollution Research Unit until 1995 running a postgraduate course in environmental studies and a number of research projects on watershed and lake management. He was a founding member and head of department of the Dept. Environmental Sciences & Policy at the Central European University, Budapest. He has extensive experience in water and environmental management and has had projects with a number of international organisations including the UN, EBRD and World Bank. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
When analyzing the development of Soviet agriculture it should be borne in mind that Russia is comparatively poorly endowed in terms of agricultural land and climate and that, under any system of farming, agricultural productivity would be appreciably lower than, for example, that of the United States or Western Europe. Read the first page
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Format: Paperback
Nikolai Dronin and Edward Bellinger start this extremely useful book by noting, “When analysing the development of Soviet agriculture it should be borne in mind that Russia is comparatively poorly endowed in terms of agricultural land and climate and that, under any system of farming, agricultural productivity would be appreciably lower than, for example, that of the United States or Western Europe.”

Only 1.4 per cent of land suitable for cereal cultivation was in an area with the best combination of temperature and moisture, compared to 56 per cent in the USA. 80 per cent of the USSR’s cropland lay in a zone of risky agriculture, compared to 20 per cent in the USA. The growing season was far shorter, nowhere more than 200 days a year, than Western Europe’s 260 to 300 days.

There was a drought one year in three throughout the 20th century. “the weather between 1920 and 1924 was the worst in the first decades of the twentieth century.” There were large-scale droughts in 1920, 1921 and 1924. Of the 1930s, they note, “poor weather conditions predominated throughout the period.” The 1946 drought affected half the USSR’s agricultural land.

They write, “In the mid-1950s, Nikita Khrushchev launched a grandiose plan for the ploughing up of 42 million hectares of the ‘virgin lands’ in Kazakhstan and Western Siberia. The plan turned out to be a fiasco. None of the planned targets were achieved. The ‘virgin lands’ suffered from wind erosion and supported low, unstable, and economically unprofitable (for new grain sovkhoses [state farms]) cereal production.”

“The virgin lands campaign had brought neither the expected increases in grain harvests nor an abundance of fodder for the country.
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