Green Revolution

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  • Green Revolution
    • What?
      • renovation of agricultural practices beginning in Mexico in the 1940s
        • development of improved strains of rice, wheat, other cereals
        • High-yielding varieties of seeds (HYV)
          • developed by cross-breeding a broad range of existing cereal strains
          • have different valuable traits
            • pest resistance
            • shorter maturation compared to traditional seeds
            • produce an increased amount of grain per hectare planted
            • responds to fertilisers
    • History and Development
      • Norman Borlaug
        • began research in 1940s Mexico, developed new disease-resistant HYV of wheat
      • Mexico
        • Norman Borlaug
          • began research in 1940s Mexico, developed new disease-resistant HYV of wheat
        • Borlaug's new wheat varieties + mechanised agricultural tech = high ^ in wheat production
        • 1940s --> importing half its wheat
          • 1950s --> self-sufficiency
            • 1960s --> exporter of wheat
              • 1963 --> established The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre, with funds from govt etc
                • The GR work conducted by Borlaug and this institution improved agriculture in the world.
    • Advantages
      • Environmental
        • reduces deforestation
          • Crops can thrive in harsh conditions, repsond well to fertiliser
            • Farm lands become > efficient
              • reducing need to clear more forests
                • reduces deforestation
                  • Crops can thrive in harsh conditions, repsond well to fertiliser
                    • Farm lands become > efficient
                      • reducing need to clear more forests
        • Social
          • High increase in food production -- doubled total world production of rice
            • HYVs have shorter maturing period
              • Allows double to triple cropping in a year
                • E.g. 1980s:
                  • Luzon, Philippines
                    • 13% ^
                  • West Java, Indonesia
                    • 23% ^
        • Economic
          • ^ standard of living
            • Higher yields --> higher income
              • Farmers can buy > food, seeds, machines, fertilisers, improving farming techniques
                • < poverty because farmers enjoy steady source of income
          • > employment opportunities
            • New farming methods + irrigation --> all-year employment. Workers aren't laid off in dry season
            • > demand for chem fertilisers
              • creation of new industries and jobs
                • Poverty and hunger reduced bc of steady income
      • Disadvantages
        • Environmental
          • loss of biodiversity
            • monoculture practiced
          • water-logged conditions
            • over-irrigation
              • air and nutrients cannot reach roots
          • deforestation
            • intensive use of cultivated land
              • depletion of soil nutrients
                • lowered quality of soil and hence productivity
                  • intense use of chemicals
                    • land poisoned, microorganisms that promote plant growth killed
                      • topsoil not productive in the long run
                        • decline in yield per hectare
                          • more land cleared to grow > food
        • Social
          • Problem with HYVs
            • Monoculture ^ susceptibility of rice crops to pests and diseases
              • All crops destroyed when a pest or disease attacks
                • Hunger and poverty for farmers
                  • ^ in farmers' income unsustainable bc ^ cost of chemicals
          • ^ social disparity
            • Rich farmers
              • Get richer with GR bc ^ output
              • monopoly of control by agribusiness chains
            • poor farmers
              • cannot afford HYVs, other input costs
                • output is low, have to sell produce at low cost to compete with rich farmers
            • Economic
              • ^ cost of production
                • technology used expensive
                  • harvested seeds cannot be resown
              • unemployment
                • use of machineries
                  • loss of jobs for some farmers
                    • migrate to cities in search of jobs
                      • end up living in slums :(
        • Economic
          • ^ cost of production
            • technology used expensive
              • harvested seeds cannot be resown
          • unemployment
            • use of machineries
              • loss of jobs for some farmers
                • migrate to cities in search of jobs
                  • end up living in slums :(

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