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A brief introduction and impacts of the green revolution in the world.


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What is Green Revolution?:

What is Green Revolution? Green Revolution refers to a series of research, development, and technology transfer initiatives Between the 1960s and 1980s Agriculture was viewed as more of a commercial sector than a subsistence one The term "Green Revolution" was first used in 1968 by former USAID director William Gaud Refers to the use of high-yield variety (HYV) seeds, which were invented by the crop pathologist Norman E. Borlaug (Father of GR).

Causes & needs of Green Revolution:

Causes & needs of Green Revolution Population growth: In 1940- 2,300,000,000 In 1960- 3,023,358,000 with rate of 1.8%

Population contd….:

Population contd…. “Population was increasing exponentially while food production arithmetically” -Thomas Malthus. In 1968 Dr. Paul R. Ehrlich published the book on the POPULATION CONTROL OR RACE TO OBLIVION: POPULATION BOMB . Due to population increase per capita income and per capita food availability has reduced. Thus to feed extra mouths there was a need to introduce technical progress in agriculture.

2. Frequent Occurrence of Famines :

2. Frequent Occurrence of Famines The Bengal Famine(1943) the world's worst recorded food disaster. four million people died of hunger that year alone in eastern India. Dutch famine(1944):22,000 died Vietnamese Famine(1945):2million died(estimated) Soviet Famine(1947):1–1.5 million died(estimated) Great Chinese Famine(1959-61): 15–43 million died(estimated)

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Fig: situation of people during famine

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3.Conventional and Traditional Approach The use of conventional inputs and absence of modern techniques further hampered the agricultural productivity. 4. Marketising Agriculture The need was felt to encourage the farmers to increase their production and offer a greater portion of their products for sale in the market. 5. Low productivity 6. Disease pest infestation

Keys of Green Revolution:

Keys of Green Revolution Scientists believe that the threat of famine could be halted by revolutionary innovation in agriculture. Leading the charge was Dr. Norman E. Borlaug an American scientists (Plant pathologists) who was quietly been working for years on new agriculture techniques in Mexico Norin 10 a semi dwarf variety from Japan with some Italian varieties, was used by Dr. Norman Borlaug and his associates to develop the well-known Mexican varieties.


High volume cross breeding and shuttle breeding created a perfect semi dwarf wheat which was stronger with shorter stalk that could support the weight of the grain. In 1956 Mexico became self sufficient in wheat production and by 1963 it became a grain exporting country. These “miracle” seeds quickly spread to Asia, shortly after new strains of rice and corn were developed as well. The Pakistan and India were the first South Asian nation to use these varieties.



Positive impacts of Green Revolution:

Positive impacts of Green Revolution

1. Increase in Agricultural Production:

1. Increase in Agricultural Production GR has significantly increase the production Production is almost 2.5 times in wheat

2. Increase in Per Hectare Yield:

2. Increase in Per Hectare Yield Between 1960 and 2000, yields for all developing countries rose 208% for wheat, 109% for rice, 157% for maize.

3. Nutrition: Calorie Availability Increases:

3. Nutrition : Calorie Availability Increases Between 1960-1990, the share of undernourished people in the world fell significantly. Improved availability and decreased staple food prices The fall in staple prices as a result of the GR also allowed more rapid diet diversification, even among poor populations. Because savings on staple food expenditures improved access to micronutrient-dense foods. greater expenditures per capita on non rice food and a significant improvement in child nutrition status.

4. Enlargement of Production Function:

4. Enlargement of Production Function The new agricultural strategy (green revolution) has proved that more can be produced with the same resources. P.F= output input Fig : increase production function in GR

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5. Impact on Employment: For production of fertilizer and other inputs, The associated industries have created Large volume of transportation, marketing and food processing were required. Generate additional employment opportunities both in agricultural and non-agricultural sectors 6. Shift from Traditional Agriculture: That it has broken away from the old and outdated traditional practices. Significant Change in Cropping Pattern With the adoption of high yielding varieties of seeds, chemical fertilizer and irrigation, the production has risen to a record level.

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7. Prosperity of Farmers: Improved the economic lot of the farmers. Their standard of living has greatly improved. Agriculture has emerged as a lucrative occupation. 8. Reduction in Import of Food grains: On account of Green Revolution, import of food grains has considerably declined. 10. Social Revolution: Socio-economic life of villages was change. Education spread and the life style of the people changed Death and birth rates declined. Distances between rural and urban centers came down. The self-sufficient life of villages came to an end. The agro-based industries were set-up.

Negative impacts of Green Revolution:

Negative impacts of Green Revolution

1. Fertilizer and soil quality impact :

For higher production high doses of fertilizer was used 1. Fertilizer and soil quality impact Fig. Global Fertilizer Consumption, 1950/51-1996/97 Source: International Fertilizer Industry Association

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The fertilizer has the chance to soak into the soil and can spread to other areas if it rains. Diminished soil quality due to increased reliance on synthetic fertilizers rather than natural fertilizers (FYM)which allowed replenishing of nutrients. Nitrogenous fertilizer due to leaching and caused nitrate pollution of water bodies. Nitrate pollution is regarded as the major factor for blue baby syndrome. Increased in mono cropping has decreased soil quality. Nutrients could not be replaced in the soil due to monocropping . Use of heavy machine causes soil compaction.

2. Pesticidal hazard:

2. Pesticidal hazard Pesticides travel through food chain and accumulate in higher organism(Bio-magnification). while some persist in soil, air, surface water and ground water and continue to poison them for a long time. In 1989, WHO and UNEP estimated that there were around 1 million human pesticide poisonings annually. Some 20,000 (mostly in developing countries) ended in death, as a result of poor labeling, loose safety standards etc. Long term exposure to pesticides causes cancer and tumor in animals .e.g. Organochlorines , lindane etc

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Fig: Endosulfan effects showed greater Abnormalities such as mental retardation, cancer and infertility in the victims of Kerala. Thousands of people and children with extreme neurological and congenital deformities was seen.

3. Biodiversity loss::

3. Biodiversity loss: Green Revolution has decreased the "biodiversity" of crops in the world today. For example, before the revolution, it is speculated that there were over 30,000 different variants of rice. Critics estimate that only ten modified rice variants are used today. As a result, if climate change, disease, or a rise in pestilence attacked the crops, famines may take place which may endanger certain populations. permanent loss of many valuable genetic traits bred i.e. traditional varieties over thousands of years.

4. Increasing Population's Carrying Capacity: :

4. Increasing Population's Carrying Capacity: Critics argue that the Green Revolution has temporarily increased the carrying capacity of a population thus allowing the population to grow. They argue that before, when these numbers exceed the growth that an area can sustain, people will die of starvation because there is not enough food to go around. Even though the Green Revolution has provided food for millions of people, it has also created the problem of allowing certain populations to growth which may hurt populations in the future.

5. Pollution:

5. Pollution Waters of both industrialized and less industrialized countries typically contain plant nutrients that can threaten health through drinking water and create harmful algal blooms on surface or marine waters (Eutrophication). Intensification of water use has led to soil salinization, draw down of once abundant ground water resources. It has resulted in land toxicity by introducing excess quantities of trace elements in the eco-systems. Toxicity is defined as the presence of an excessive solute concentration in the soil solution that adversely affects plant growth.

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6. The miracle of Norman Borlaug’s research has seemed to cause some concern in India by causing “rising costs of inputs and lower prices for food grains”. With lower food grain prices in effect farmers have become indebted and are now being found to commit suicide because of it . Only groups of people that are making profits from this revolution are the rich farmers . The poor farmers cannot afford to buy fertilizer and other inputs in volume; big growers can get discounts for larger purchase Yet hunger persists at alarming rates, and if we discount China from the equation, world hunger has actually increased by 11 percent since the start of the revolution.


CONCLUSION GR has done a lot of positive things, saving the lives of millions peoples and exponentially increasing the yield of food crops. But environmental degradation makes the Green Revolution an overall inefficient, short-term solution to the problem of food insecurity. So, more sustainable and environmental friendly system of cultivation needs to be practice call as Organic Farming. The world is on the brink of a ‘Green Revolution 2.0’ , which promises to both feed a growing world population and to do so sustainably –without compromising the needs of future generations to feed themselves .





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