Green Revolution Essay
The Green Revolution
The world's worst recorded food disaster occurred in 1943 in British-ruled India. Known as the Bengal Famine, an estimated 4 million people died of hunger that year in eastern India (which included today's Bangladesh). Initially, this catastrophe was attributed to an acute shortfall in food production in the area. However, Indian economist Amartya Sen (recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economics, 1998) has established that while food shortage was a contributor to the problem, a more potent factor was the result of hysteria related to World War II, which made food supply a low priority for the British rulers.
When the British left India in 1947, India continued to be haunted by memories of the Bengal …show more content…
In regional terms, only the states of Punjab and Haryana showed the best results of the Green Revolution. The eastern plains of the River Ganges in West Bengal also showed reasonably good results. But results were less impressive in other parts of India.
The Green Revolution has created some problems mainly to adverse impacts on the environment. The increasing use of agrochemical-based pest and weed control in some crops has affected the surrounding environment as well as human health. Increase in the area under irrigation has led to rise in the salinity of the land. Although high yielding varieties had their plus points, it has led to significant genetic erosion.
Since the beginning of agriculture, people have been working to improving seed quality and variety. But the term ‘Green Revolution’ was coined in the 1960s after improved varieties of wheat dramatically increased yields in test plots in northwest Mexico. The reason why these ‘modern varieties’ produced more than traditional varieties was that they were more responsive to controlled irrigation and to petrochemical fertilizers. With a big boost from the international agricultural research centres created by the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, the ‘miracle’ seeds quickly spread to Asia, and soon new strains of rice and corn were developed as well.
By the 1970s the new