Potato famine threatens Russia

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Potato famine threatens Russia

A potato blight more destructive than the one that killed at least one million Irishmen in the 1840s is threatening Russia.

It has been found to survive even harsh winters.

A senior researcher at Cornell University in the United States said potatoes are like bread in many parts of Russia, and a severe blight could harm millions of people.

He said that could possibly destabilise the region, especially if alternative food could not be quickly moved in.

The disease got into Russia in 1976, when a drought forced Moscow to import potatoes from Mexico, where it originated.

Chemicals and fungicides can fight the potato blight, but most Russian farmers cannot afford to buy them.

Researchers are exploring potential solutions, including the development of new potato varieties that have developed natural resistance.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), March 23, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ