Green Revolution and GMOs

by Mackenzee Bumgarner

The Bengal Famine of 1943

The Bengal famine was caused by the seize of Burma, a major rice exporter, by Japan. The majority of the rice they exported was bought and hoarded by Britain. The price of buying rice increased exponentially during 1943.

What happened?

Nearly 3 million people died of starvation in that yard, and many called in the "Man-Made Holocaust". The famine ended in 1944, when Bengal managed to produce large amount of rice during harvest.

Green Revolution: India

1. Continued expansion of farming areas

Area of land increased, but did not meet demands. Not the most important aspect of the green revolution.

2. Double-cropping existing farmland

Primary aspect of revolution; two crops per season instead of one season. Artificial monsoons creating during non-monsoon season.

3. Using seeds with improved genetics

Science aspect of the revolution; re-organizing of the Indian Council of Agricultural research to develop High Yield Value seeds (HYV) of wheat, rice, corn, and millet. Dr. Singh developed K68 variety of wheat, causing him to become a hero of the revolution

Positive Results:

Economic Results:

India paid back loans taken out from the World Bank, improvement of India's creditworthiness.

Sociological Results:

Created jobs for agricultural and industrial workers to focus on technological aspects of factories and hydro-electric stations.

Political Results:

Changed from starving to becoming a major export of food.


No considered a success for a couple of reasons:

HYV seeds have not bee branched out to all agriculture; it is kept to confined food grains. Unimpressive results occurred in agriculture due to these limitations.

Exports of India fall short of demands surrounding the ports. Exports are too low to allow India to be seen as a self-sufficient food source

Benefits of GMOs

  • - technology helps decrease time consumption of farming through biotechnology
  • - biotechnology feeds the world without harming the environment
  • - plants genetically modified - reduce diseases
  • - addresses hunger problems by processing massive amounts of food
  • - GMOs allow for industrial workers to get jobs to work with the technology
  • Limitations of GMOs

  • - depletion of soil/destruction of resources
  • - water shortages due to mechanic irrigation systems
  • - harmful use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers have long term effects
  • - have unknown long term affects
  • - pollen of modified plans spread and infect other plants
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