The editorial "Why Russia Can't Feed Itself," Nov. 5, puts its finger on the crux of the food problem in the USSR - ownership of land. Vladimir Plotnikov sounds like many of the Soviet family farmers from St. Petersburg and other Soviet regions that I met last spring.Around Moscow, and in that richest of our Earth's soils, the Russian and Ukrainian chernozem (black-earth regions), local authorities are not giving up the land. In places where the soil is poor, roads are bad, and state and collective farms have gone bankrupt, private farming is finally starting - even without full ownership. In Armenia, much land has been redistributed. Private property, guaranteed by the government, will serve not only as a basis for feeding the people but, as United States history shows, for long-term freedom and democracy. C. Grant Pendill, Jr., Washington, Soviet Family Farm Project
Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.