Československá delegace studující kaučukodárné rostliny v SSSR v roce 1936
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STUDYING RUBBER YIELDING PLANTS IN THE USSR BY A CZECHOSLOVAK DELEGATION IN 1936
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In summer 1936, a six-member delegation was sent to the USSR to collect rubber from rubber trees. Although the Czechoslovak Agricultural Academy was the official promoter, it was the Bata Company, which initialised and sponsored the delegation. An impulse to the mission stemmed from growing prices of raw rubber on the world market. The project continuously followed the existing study programmes of the Bata Company on the Soviet territory. The content of the programmes demonstrates opinions, which the Bata management cherished about the Soviet Union and its science. After the first familiarisation with the problem and procuring the necessary documents in Moscow offices, the delegation spent the longest part of their four-week long stay in the Caucasus, where most of the cultivating and productive farms were located. In their paper, the members of the delegation concentrated on the description of alternative rubber-yielding plants, in particular the Kok-saghyz (Taraxacum Kok-saghyz Rodin), which was suitable for naturalising in the Czechoslovak conditions. They also described physical and geographical aspects of the countryside, condition of the farm building and apartments, personality traits of supervisors and social conditions of the peasants. They criticised the quality of services. During their stay, the delegation recorded several interesting societal, political and economical contexts. When they returned, their findings were published in special and popular educational forms. For several following years, botanical findings of the Kok-saghyz were experimentally tested on the Zlin experimental grounds, before unprofitability of industrial production was proved.
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