Praise for Lysenko's work included such items as credit from the Soviet newspaper Pravda for having discovered a method to fertilize fields without using fertilizers or minerals, and for having proven that a winter crop of peas could be grown in Azerbaijan, "turning the barren fields of the Transcaucasus green in winter, so that cattle will not perish from poor feeding, and the peasant Turk will live through the winter without trembling for tomorrow." In succeeding years, however, further attempts to grow the peas were unsuccessful. Similar Soviet media reports heralding Lysenko's further discoveries in agriculture continued from 1927 until 1964; reports of amazing (and seemingly impossible) successes, each one replaced with new success claims as earlier ones failed. Few of the successes attributed to Lysenko could be duplicated. Nevertheless, with the media's help, Lysenko enjoyed the popular image of the "barefoot scientist"—the embodiment of the mythic Soviet peasant genius.
The Chinese can thank the good ole USA for the starvation as well as most of their disasters throughout the 20th Century.
Because the USA along with European powers invaded China in 1900 to ensure that the opium trade would continue and that US missionaries could spread their Armageddon, 2nd coming delusions to China.
This was accompanied with the US & British example of vicious military aggression for prosperity of the aggressors which inspired the Japanese to try the same sort of behavior.
This of course led to the Japanese invasion of China.
On top of that the US sponsored the Communists in China, and sabotaged those opposed to the Communists until Mao's fanatics took over China, which led directly to the famine.
It's a mix of political calculation and idealism that went horribly wrong, there were some practical side of the Mao's aim, most notablly to force break the fundmental social structures that he thought (and was far from alone.. pretty much everyone from all specturms agreed that) was restricting China from making a break from it's past. he did succeed in that sense... but the price was too horrible to fathom.