Soviet Union: Too Much To Handle

Too Much To Handle

By all accounts, the 1990 harvest should have been good news for Mikhail Gorbachev. After five years of the worst yields in modern Soviet history, the country has finally produced a bumper crop -- up to 300 million tons of grain alone, vs. 211 million last year. Unfortunately, this bounty is in danger of perishing before it ever reaches market. An extreme shortage of labor, machinery, storage facilities and fuel is part of an old bureaucratic system that has ceased functioning, and a new method of efficiently harvesting and transporting food has not yet been developed. Officials recruited thousands of additional...