The Green Revolution

990 Words4 Pages
Broad Topic: The Green Revolution
Narrowed Topic: Pesticides and the Green Revolution: The impact on the environment and counter- measures.

The green revolution technology phenomenon started in Mexico over sixty years ago. The technology which is still relevant today has, forever changed the way agriculture is conducted worldwide. According to Wilson (2005), green revolution technology “involved using high-yielding varieties (HYV) of seeds, pesticides and fertilizers in addition to irrigation” (para. 4). The technology was used mainly to boost the production of wheat and rice, so that developing countries could keep up with the growing demand of their rising population. The process has led to significant increase in food grain production. Burton ( 2009) documented that it took almost 10,000 years to bring food grain production up to 1 billion tons in 1960 and only 40 years to reach 2 billion in 2000. The success of the green revolution technology is greatly lauded and is still evident today. However, along with accompanying success, was tremendous increase in the use of pesticides. Wilson also reported that pesticides used in Sri Lanka increased from 59 metric tons in 1970 to 6742 metric tons in 1995. Although these pesticides used then and now are useful for killing pests (insect, weed, microbes that compete with human for food, spread disease or cause a nuisance), there were and still are many health and safety issues associated with them. Consequently, there are growing concerns among several stakeholders that while the green revolution may have proven to be a success, there has been a price to pay with regard to the unintended negative impact of pesticides and needed counter-measures. Pesticides assoc...

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...s and the environment. Retrieved September 20, 2010, from: Seiber, J. N. (2002). Environmental fate of pesticides. In W.B.Wheeler (Ed.), Pestcides in agriculture and the environment (pp. 127-163). New York: Marcel Dekker.
Shabecoff, P. (1983, October 1). Chemical barred as pesticides, but safety rules are blocked. Retrieved October 10, 2010, from The New York Times: Tilman, D. (1998, November 19). The greening of the green revolution. Nature 396, 211-212. Retrieved October 10, 2010, from
Wilson, C. (2005). Exposure to pesticides, ill-health and averting behaviour: costs and determining the relationships. International Journal of Social Economics, 32 (12), 1020-1034. Retrieved October 4, 2010, from Emerald database.
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