Russia’s Far East Reportedly Facing Harvest Disaster
Grain, potato and vegetable crops in the Russian far east are being harvested at a disastrously slow pace because of a shortage of fuel and spare parts, Itar-Tass news agency said Sunday.
Only 198,000 out of 358,000 acres of grain will have been harvested by the end of this month, the time when all grain has usually been gathered, the agency quoted agricultural officials in Vladivostok as saying.
“The potato harvest has not yet started. Vegetables are dying in the fields. Beans are withering away,” the news agency said.
Farmers have frequently complained that the government is ignoring the crippling financial and technical problems besetting the country’s agriculture. Prime Minister Viktor S. Chernomyrdin said Saturday that the state had already spent $604 million to help with this year’s harvest.