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The Interstellar Association for Agriculture (IAA) is an official international regulatory body that monitors and regulates developments in agriculture. In September 3305, it highlighted a spate of crop failures in key agricultural systems. After the Rockforth Corporation debuted a new synthetic fertiliser designed to counter the crop shortages, the IAA also restricted its distribution out of concern that Rockforth had not complied with safety regulations in its rush to bring the product to market. By October 3305, the IAA had identified a new strain of blight as the cause of the crop failures. After partnering with the Vandermeer Corporation to further analyze the disease, the IAA found that it was caused by Rockforth Corporation's EX7 fertiliser and organized an initiative to collect the remaining stocks of EX7 for disposal. The IAA subsequently developed an Agronomic Treatment to counteract the blight with the help of Rockforth, Vandermeer, and Neomedical Industries.

Timeline Edit

05 NOV 3305

  • The CEO of Rockforth Corporation has expressed regret at her company's role in the distribution of blight pathogen, which ravaged crops in hundreds of systems. In a statement to the media, Sylvia Rockforth insisted that the lack of proper oversight in the manufacture of EX7 fertiliser was an 'anomaly', inconsistent with the company's 'traditional commitment to quality'. "I offer my sincere apologies to everyone affected by the blight," said Rockforth. "The premature release of an ultimately damaging product is unacceptable. My company now has a great deal of work ahead to regain the trust of our customers and partners. The foundation of a restitution fund, using profits made from EX7, is the first step towards doing so. A review of decisions preceding the release of EX7 has resulted in the termination of several Rockforth employee contracts. This includes former marketing director Rex Whitlock. Rex's desire for career progression overcame his common sense, and his dismissal of regulatory practices placed billions of good people in danger." In other news, Dr Genevieve Kane of the Interstellar Association for Agriculture has confirmed that thousands of markets across the galaxy will now stock its specialised agronomic treatment. "We have established the widespread manufacture and distribution of the treatment, ensuring availability in the event of a blight outbreak," said Dr Kane. "Additionally, data provided by IAA vessels indicates that we can accurately determine which areas of the galaxy are in need of agronomic treatment. One anomaly involved an unexpected call for supplies from the Upaniklis system, which will need to be investigated. But otherwise we are satisfied with our detection methods."[1]

02 NOV 3305

  • The blight that laid waste to vast areas of cropland over the past month has now officially been contained. Reports from the Interstellar Association for Agriculture confirm that the blight has been eliminated from all affected systems. The new agronomic treatment has rejuvenated emaciated fields, with the remaining harvests once again viable. Journalist Adalyn Cross published a review of recent events on Vox Galactica: "As the availability of staple foodstuffs begins to return to something like a normal level, many pundits are asking what lessons can be learned from this catastrophe. The IAA has pledged to intensify screening regulations for agricultural commodities. The speed with which the blight spread caught many by surprise, and it is vital that this does not happen again. Intelligence agencies have pledged to review their strategies for tackling interstellar terrorism. The Scythe of Panem extremists who engineered the blight have been dealt with, but who else might be planning a biochemical attack?" Meanwhile, the Rockforth Corporation's PR department is working hard to reassure customers and shareholders. Critics have underscored the role of the EX7 fertiliser as a primary delivery system for the pathogen, but a Rockforth source argued that the product's sabotage by Scythe of Panem agents could not have been anticipated. Nevertheless, the company's haste to increase profits has been highlighted as a contributing factor in the blight's impact. Rockforth is expected to release a statement in the next few days, pending an internal review.[2]

31 OCT 3305

  • The agronomic treatment recently developed by the Interstellar Association for Agriculture has proven effective against the devastating crop blight. The treatment was distributed as part of an initiative focusing on the Diso and Orerve systems. Planetside farming communities in both systems are beginning to recover from severe crop damage. Dr Genevieve Kane of the Interstellar Association for Agriculture gave this statement to the media: "Thanks to the heroic efforts of the galactic community, we can confirm that the agronomic treatment performs superbly on infected farmland. The counteragent eliminated the mutated blight pathogen within hours, facilitating the recovery of living crops. Therefore, the IAA can confidently state that the immediate threat of food shortages has been alleviated, with food deliveries replenishing lost stocks. Mass production of the agronomic treatment has already begun, and it will soon be available across the galaxy to counteract the blight wherever it is found." Pilots who contributed to either of the initiatives can now collect their rewards from Shifnalport in the Diso system and Watson Station in the Orerve system, respectively.[3]

28 OCT 3305

  • Scythe of Panem, the activist group responsible for the crop-destroying blight, has been defeated in the Quator system. Supported by Bruthanvan Co security teams, independent pilots were able to neutralise the group's militant ringleaders. Scythe of Panem members have also been arrested following the raid of an unregistered facility discovered beneath the planetary port Weber Settlement. FIA Agent Gino Borstein spoke on behalf of the tri-superpower taskforce investigating the blight: "Initial questioning has confirmed that Scythe of Panem originally sought revenge for the Federation's orbital bombing of Onion Head crops on Panem nearly five years ago. But a recent change in leadership led them towards more extreme methods, fuelled by anti-capitalist sentiment, with the objective of disrupting the galactic economy. The term 'Crops for Crops' recurs in many of the data entries and communications recovered from the underground facility. We believe this phrase was used as a rallying cry by members." Traders are currently transporting the agronomic treatment for the blight pathogen, with a focus on the Diso and Orerve systems. As yet there is no official word regarding its effectiveness, but the Interstellar Association for Agriculture remains optimistic. Vox Galactica published an opinion piece from journalist Adalyn Cross: "A vital question remains: has the damage already been done? While the originators of the blight have been brought to justice, can a galaxy-wide eradication of food supplies be prevented?" Pilots who assisted with the campaign in the Quator system can now pick up their rewards from the Bruthanvan Co at Quator Station.[4]

24 OCT 3305

  • The galactic community has been asked to support an initiative that could counteract the blight that is devastating crops in hundreds of systems. With the blight pathogen present across inhabited space, the Interstellar Association for Agriculture has decided to press ahead with controlled distribution of a promising new agronomic treatment. The IAA's Dr Genevieve Kane provided further information: "Ever since the blight was identified, our scientists have been working alongside Rockforth Corporation research teams to develop an effective counteragent. We appreciate the full cooperation granted by Rockforth Corporation representatives in this endeavour. Following essential contributions by both the Vandermeer Corporation and Neomedical Industries, we have developed an agronomic treatment that should reverse the disease's effects. The priority is to transport the treatment to the Diso and Orerve systems, which were among the first to be ravaged by the blight. If these primary agricultural centres can be made viable again, we can then proceed to revitalise crop production elsewhere." Agronomic Treatment can now be collected from the following markets:
    Conway City, LTT 4961
    George Lucas, Leesti
    Thomson Orbital, Lansbury
    Cousin Ring, Tjindjin
    Margulis Station, CD-44 10336
    Nourse City, Esumindii
    Independent traders have been asked to deliver the agronomic treatment to Shifnalport in the Diso system and Watson Station in the Orerve system. The initiative is scheduled to run from the 24th to the 30th of October 3305. If the final targets are met earlier than planned, the campaign will end immediately.[5]

20 OCT 3305

  • A tri-superpower group has identified the cause of the blight that has ruined crops on multiple worlds. Gino Borstein of the Federal Intelligence Agency delivered a report on behalf of the cross-superpower taskforce: "Working with the Rockforth Corporation, we have confirmed that the EX7 fertiliser was deliberately contaminated with a chemical compound shortly after mass production began. The contaminant has a unique synthetic composition specifically designed to introduce a highly aggressive pathogen that quickly destroys plant matter. Our investigations have uncovered several potential leads, and we expect to identify the contaminant's point of origin soon." Vox Galactica journalist Adalyn Cross commented: "Taken at face value, this seems to absolve Rockforth of causing the blight. But there may yet be culpability issues, considering the company's cavalier attitude towards regulatory checks. Commentators have pointed to the requests made by the Interstellar Association for Agriculture as evidence that the company placed profit above safety. The question is: who is behind this attempt to eradicate the food supplies of billions of people? Are we dealing with a terrorist attack on an interstellar scale? Or was this an attempt to ruin Rockforth, perhaps committed by a dangerous corporate rival?" In related news, additional cargo checks have been implemented at starports following the blight's rapid spread. Researchers have theorised that contaminated goods ferried by unsuspecting traders are to blame for introducing the blight to non-agricultural systems.[6]

16 OCT 3305

  • The Rockforth Corporation's EX7 fertiliser has been linked to the blight affecting crops in a number of systems, prompting an initiative to remove the product from the market. Dr Genevieve Kane of the Interstellar Association for Agriculture delivered an urgent message: "Comparative analysis has confirmed that the blight is caused by the EX7 fertiliser. The original poor harvests have been attributed to natural factors, and it is now thought that the situation could have been contained had the fertiliser not exacerbated the problem. Initial food shortages were offset by a recent trade appeal in the Diso and Orerve systems, but the blight's symptoms have since been reported in hundreds of systems. While we investigate the reasons for this rapid spread, preventing further fertiliser distribution is vital." Rockforth fertiliser can now be collected at zero cost from the following markets:
    Sharon Lee Free Market, Orrere
    Lave Station, Lave
    Warinus, Lave
    Shifnalport, Diso
    Davies High, Reorte
    Watson Station, Orerve
    Roentgen Hub, LFT 37
    Macedo Station, Lei Zi
    Phillips Gateway, Ensoreus
    Baird Gateway, Arque
    La Soeur du Dan Ham, Riedquat
    The Teveri Progressive Party has arranged for the safe disposal of the fertiliser and has offered to compensate pilots for their efforts. The fertiliser should be delivered to Wiley Port in the Teveri system. To expedite this initiative, Lakon Spaceways has agreed to lower the cost of the Type-6 Transporter, Type-7 Transporter and Type-9 Heavy. Cargo rack prices have also been reduced in all starports. The initiative is scheduled to run from the 16th to the 22nd of October 3305. If the final target is met earlier than planned, the campaign will end immediately.[7]

14 OCT 3305

  • The cause of mass crop spoilage on key agricultural worlds has been attributed to a new disease affecting plants. Dr Genevieve Kane of the Interstellar Association for Agriculture summarised the organisation's findings: "The rapid decay of plant life on multiple planets was caused by the same strain of advanced blight. Its origin and vectors remain unknown, and it has so far resisted all established methods of treatment. Our analysis has not determined if the blight is a natural mutation or an artificial pathogen. Until we confirm this and develop a method of preventing further spread, viable cropland will become scarcer and the production of staple foods will continue to drop. The Vandermeer Corporation has offered to assist the IAA with its research. The company's experience of molecular diagnostics will hopefully contribute to a breakthrough." Journalist Adalyn Cross reported on this development for Vox Galactica: "Speculation on the cause of the blight has spread like wildfire, with theories ranging from chronic mismanagement to industrial sabotage. Political enemies are also being blamed in every affected system, with competing factions quick to lay the blame at each other’s doorstep. As tensions rise and billions find themselves short on food, such accusations are likely to escalate to dangerous levels. Trade initiatives and charitable imports are all proving helpful, but will that be enough to stave off disaster?"[8]

10 OCT 3305

  • Two coordinated trade initiatives have been launched, spearheading efforts to mitigate the impact of low crop yields in key systems. The initiatives have been organised by Crimson State Limited in the Diso system and Orerve Universal Limited in the Orerve system. The significant loss of crops in these agricultural centres is a primary cause for the low availability of staple foodstuffs. The initiatives received praise from Dr Genevieve Kane of the Interstellar Association for Agriculture: "This campaign is a step in the right direction, and with the help of the galactic community should stop the situation from becoming a full-scale crisis. The IAA is currently investigating the reasons for such poor harvests, and it seems that a new form of blight may be responsible for the rapid degeneration of crops. Scientific teams are analysing samples of diseased tissue, and we expect to know more soon." Traders are asked to deliver pesticides, synthetic reagents and grain to Shifnalport in the Diso system and Watson Station in the Orerve system. The initiative is scheduled to run from the 10th to the 16th of October 3305. If the final targets are met earlier than planned, the campaign will end immediately.[9]

06 OCT 3305

  • The Interstellar Association for Agriculture has identified similarities in the crop failures reported in multiple systems over the past several weeks. Dr Genevieve Kane, a spokesperson for the organisation, outlined a pattern of common biological markers contained in diseased harvests of staple food crops. "We have collated multiple reports in which farmers recorded healthy crops withering in a matter of days. Agronomists have confirmed that the symptoms of decay are identical, and share genetic similarities to known pathogens, but have not yet identified the cause. The IAA is coordinating with other agricultural and scientific bodies to investigate this situation further." The lack of staple foods has triggered a cascade effect across the core systems, leading to the panic buying and stockpiling of consumables. While non-perishable foodstuffs are keeping local populations fed, many authorities are struggling to address their citizens' concerns. The following statement from Governor Nadeem Clayton of the Orerve system is typical of the announcements made by political leaders in affected systems: "I can assure you that the current disruption is merely temporary. We guarantee that critical food supplies will remain available, and urge the public not to overreact. A committee has been established to explore the possibility of financial support for landowners affected by this unfortunate situation."[10]

03 OCT 3305

  • The impact of low crop yields in key agricultural systems has reached civilian populations, prompting public concerns over food availability. Freelance journalist Adalyn Cross published this report on Vox Galactica: "The scarcity of fresh fruit and vegetables has become a major concern. Despite the efforts of agricultural bodies and corporations to prevent shortages from affecting the general public, the availability of produce is believed to have fallen further in recent weeks. With fear of a widespread food shortage rising, stockpiling of staple foods by markets and citizens has increased. Prices have fluctuated as opportunistic suppliers take advantage of the situation. It's clear that the situation is more complicated than a mere bad harvest, but as yet there has been little effective response from local governments." In related news, the Rockforth Corporation has publically responded to the Interstellar Association for Agriculture, following requests for compliance documentation related to its new fertiliser. Rockforth marketing director Rex Whitlock made this statement: "We see it as our duty to lead the recovery of affected farming communities, and our revolutionary fertiliser will play a big role. I have full confidence that our new product meets the IAA's standards, and we will fulfil their request at the earliest opportunity."[11]

27 SEP 3305

  • Share prices in the Rockforth Corporation have risen following the success of its latest fertiliser. With key agricultural systems reporting crop failures over the past few weeks, the mega-corporation has capitalised on farmers' demands for new treatments. Sales of Rockforth's fertiliser have beaten expectations, with multiple systems importing large quantities of stock. Rockforth marketing director Rex Whitlock provided this statement: "I believe that our long-standing dedication to quality has played no small part in the success of this product. Since its inception, the Rockforth Corporation has represented the cutting edge of agricultural technology. Hard-working farmers facing this challenge require our support, and we have pledged to meet their needs. I am confident that the EX7 fertiliser will help to mitigate any further losses." Meanwhile, Dr Genevieve Kane of the Interstellar Association for Agriculture has repeated calls for distribution restrictions. "Our compliance department has been in regular communication with Rockforth representatives, but we have yet to receive the requested documentation. Sometimes these matters take longer than expected, of course. Until the request has been fulfilled, however, we again urge caution in the trade of Rockforth's latest commodity."[12]

18 SEP 3305

  • A new agricultural fertiliser has been released by the Rockforth Corporation in response to growing concerns over low harvests in several systems. Rex Whitlock, the company's marketing director, gave this statement to shareholders: "We at Rockforth are deeply concerned by the recent reports of poor staple crop yields. We are determined to ensure that the food-supply chains are not impacted. Our new EX7 fertiliser has been synthetically enhanced to enrich soil, increase macronutrients and promote growth across all types of cropland. We have prioritised its development and are confident that it will help minimise the risk of future food shortages. Distribution of the fertiliser has started at Marshall Dock in the Riedquat system. We encourage traders to take advantage of our introductory prices." Many farmers have already begun putting the new fertiliser to use, but Dr Genevieve Kane of the Interstellar Association for Agriculture commented: "There are concerns that, in order to bring this new product to market quickly, Rockforth may not have satisfied all regulatory checks. The IAA has therefore requested tight regulation of the fertiliser's distribution until full compliance can be verified."[13]

13 SEP 3305

  • The Interstellar Association for Agriculture has announced that below-average crop yields are expected in several key locations. Dr Genevieve Kane, writing on behalf of the organisation, published this statement: "Recent audits conducted on two primary agricultural worlds, located in Diso and Orerve, indicate that staple food harvests have been markedly lower in recent months. Broader data analysis suggests that crop returns in several other systems may also fail to meet projected quotas. An investigation is underway to identify the reasons for this drop in produce. To prevent a shortage of produce from impacting consumers, the IAA is reviewing options to enhance the fertility of cropland used for domestic consumption. These include newly proposed synthetic treatments that we hope will increase the sustainability of essential harvests." The situation was first highlighted during the Alliance Festival of Culture's culinary week, when events in the Diso system were impacted by difficulties in sourcing fresh ingredients. Subsequent reports have indicated that these shortages are not unique to Allied space.[14]

References Edit

  1. GalNet: Rockforth Corporation Releases Apology
  2. GalNet: The Lessons of the Blight
  3. GalNet: Blight Pathogen Cured
  4. GalNet: Scythe of Panem Militants Defeated
  5. GalNet: Anti-Blight Treatment Discovered
  6. GalNet: Blight Traced to Synthetic Contaminant
  7. GalNet: Initiative to Eradicate Rockforth Fertiliser
  8. GalNet: The Mystery of the Blight
  9. GalNet: Initiative to Counter Poor Harvests
  10. GalNet: Common Symptoms Among Damaged Crops
  11. GalNet: Poor Harvests Impact Core Systems
  12. GalNet: Rockforth Corporation Sales Spike
  13. GalNet: Rockforth Corporation Reveals New Fertiliser
  14. GalNet: Agricultural Industry Predicts Low Harvest
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