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Time for a second green revolution


The Green Revolution

The Green Revolution refers to the transformation of agriculture that began in 1943 in the developing world, and led in some places to significant increases in agricultural production between the 1940s and 1960s. The Green Revolution has had major social and ecological impacts.

  • With the experience of agricultural development begun in Mexico judged as a success, the Rockefeller Foundation sought to spread the Green Revolution to other nations.
  • In 1961 India was on the brink of mass famine. Indian state of Punjab was selected by the Indian government to be the first site to try the new crops because of its reliable water supply and a history of agricultural success. India began its own Green Revolution program of plant breeding, irrigation development, and financing of agrochemicals.
  • India soon adopted IR8 – a rice variety developed by the International Rice Research Institute that could produce more grains of rice per plant when grown properly with fertilizer and irrigation.
  • In the 1960s, rice yields in India were about two tons per hectare; by the mid-1990s, they had risen to six tons per hectare. In the 1970s, rice cost about $550 a ton; in 2001, it cost less than $200 a ton. India became one of the world’s most successful rice producers, and is now a major rice exporter, shipping nearly 4.5 million tons in 2006.

It’s Time for a second green revolution in view of the global food crisis.

How to grow more food on the same amount of land: the challenge has been a constant in human history. New answers have allowed growth in population and in living standards, but with today’s surge in food prices the need to raise agricultural productivity is once again pressing. To grow more food is possible – but dogmatism about how or where to do so would be unwise.

More on FT.com [Time for a second green revolution] and [wikipedia]

image credit : greenschool.org

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