The Green Revolution hopes to avert global hunger crises by enabling developing nations to be self sufficient. The goal is to replace old agricultural traditions with newer Western practices. Developing nations can increase their total yields by using genetically engineered seeds, large irrigation projects, and prolific quantities of fertilizer. The aim of this paper is examine the methods of the Green Revolution, and their effects on the soils of the Punjab region in India.
What is the Green Revolution?
The idea behind the Green Revolution is noble: to enable developing nations to grow their own food, and thereby avert mass starvation. During the period immediately after World War Two the United States had the dubious honor of unofficial safeguard against famine for all developing nations. Despite political pressure to modernize their agricultural systems, most developing nations were more interested in large industrial projects. During 1965, when urged to restructure Indian agriculture, one government official replied, "Why should we bother? Our reserves are the wheat fields of Kansas." (Brown, 1970) This reply was shown to be true in 19 67 when after two consecutive monsoon failures, the United States shipped one fifth of its wheat crop to India in order to avert mass starvation. The United States fed 60 million Indians for two years. There was an acute need to change American foreign aid policy.
The first change was an increase in support for such organizations as the Agency for International Development (AID), which specialized in financing shipments of fertilizer. Green Revolution agronomists reasoned that farming could be intensified if ferti...
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...ganic fertility of soils." (Shiva, 1991)
Brown, Lester R., Seeds of Change; The Green Revolution and Development in the 1970's, Praeger Publishers: New York, 1970.
Glaeser, Bernhard, The Green Revolution Revisited, Allen & Unwin: Boston, 1987.
Holmes, Bob, 1993, "A New Study Finds There's Life Left in the Green Revolution," Science, vol. 261, p.1517.
Lappé, Francis Moore and Joseph Collins, World Hunger; Twelve Myths, Institute For Food and Development Policy & Grove Press: New York, 1986.
Sen, Bandhudas, The Green Revolution in India, John Wiley & Sons: New York, 1974.
Shiva, Vandana, The Violence of the Green Revolution, Third World Network: Penang Malaysia, 1991.
Wolf, Edward C., "Beyond the Green Revolution: New Approaches for Third World Agriculture," World Watch Paper 73, WorldWatch Institute, Washington D.C., October 1986.
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