Green Revolution and GMOs

By Eleanor LoFrisco

Causes and Results of Bengal Famine (1943)

The Bengal Famine is the world's worst recorded food disaster, present in 1943. This famine was a "result of hysteria related to World War II which made food supply a low priority for the British rulers". It was further carried out by greedy Indian traders who would hoard food, until there was a high demand, then sell it for higher prices. The outcomes of this famine were four million deaths and the focus of food security to ensure no buisnessmen could hoard food, leading to the Green Revolution.

Three Basic Elements of the Green Revolution in India

1) Continued expansion of farming areas- The Green Revolution caused the expansion of usable/ cultivable land.

2) Double-cropping existing farmland- Instead of having one crop season per year, it was established that there would be two crop seasons per year. The crop season came about based on the fact that there is only one monsoon a year, so, after the Green Revolution, one natural and one artificial monsoon would occur.

3) Using seeds with improved genetics- This scientific aspect was very important because it created high yeild value (HYV) seeds, meaning more income.

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Two Positive Results of the Green Revolution in India

  1. Grain output of 131 million tons in 1978-1979, establishing India as one of the world's biggest agricultural producers.
  2. Yeild per unit of farmland improved more than 30 percent between 1947 and 1979.

Three Positive Economic, Political, or Sociologic Results

  1. Sociological- plenty of jobs because of the creation of more factories
  2. Political- made Mrs. Indira Gandhi and her party very powerful in India
  3. Economic- after India paying back all of its loans from the World Bank, India's creditworthiness in the eyes of leading agencies improved

Limitations

  1. India has not succeeded in becoming perminantly and totally self-sufficient in food because, even today, its agricultural output sometimes still falls short of demand.
  2. This country's failure to extend the concept of HYV crops to all crops and regions.

Positives and Negatives Associated with GMOs

Positive:


  • Production increase
  • Less impact on soil erosion
  • Higher yeilds on less land
  • Plants are less seseptable to diseases
  • Farming becomes less time consuming
  • More of a demand for these types of plants, due to taste



Negative:


  • Increased use of pesticides, poisoning of farm workers
  • Rural people are displaced from land
  • Poor farmers cannot buy seeds
  • Wealthy cooperations invested and got richer, driving the poor independent farmers to a neo-colonialism
  • Doesn't solve world hunger
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