Green Revolution

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  • Topic: Agriculture, Green Revolution, Industrial agriculture
  • Pages : 3 (827 words )
  • Download(s) : 514
  • Published : August 17, 2008
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A brief summary of the Green Revolution that swept the globe in the 1980s. It focuses on the techniques used, the positive and negative effects on certain countries, and some alternatives that are popular today.

Green Revolution

The Green Revolution began during the 1970s and 1980s in an attempt to increase the nutrition in food crops and to make species of food crops more uniform and robust. Scientists developed strains of hybrid plants, such as wheat, rice, and maize that quantitatively produced more food that was of better quality. This research was led by Dr Norman Borlaug in Mexico and others under the sponsorship of the Rockefeller Foundation during the 1960s.

The reason that the Green Revolution began was that the population of humans was increasing exponentially (in a J curve), while the amount of food produced per year was only increasing geometrically (in a straight line). The carrying capacity of the Earth was being strained. The Green Revolution seemed to solve everyone’s problems.

There were several techniques that scientists used to help increase yield and appearance of crops. First, genetic engineering was used, such as cross breeding plants for desirable qualities. Other methods were also used, such as expensive fertilizers, irrigation, heavy machinery, and pesticides and herbicides. These techniques were all used together to dramatically increase the yield of crops in many different third world countries, whose population was increasing at the fastest rate.

There were many remarkable achievements of the Green Revolution. Generally, it increased the crop yield in India, Pakistan, Philippines, Mexico, Sri Lanka and other underdeveloped countries. Specifically, it turned Mexico from a country that imported half of its wheat consumed (1949) to a crop exporter by 1964. The Green Revolution is credited with saving 1 billion people from starvation in India and Pakistan alone. It is an undisputed fact that without methods stemming from the...
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