Green Revolution and GMO'S

The consequences of genetically modified oganisms

The Bengal Famine in 1943

In the Bengal Famine in 1943 killed at least 3 million people due to malnutrition and starvation during a famine in the Indian province of Bengal in 1943. The cause of the Famine is believed to have been the Japanese occupation of neighboring Burma and damage to the local rice crop due to tidal waves and a fungal disease epidemic.

Genetically Modified Organisms

A genetically modified organism is one whose genome has been altered by the techniques of genetic engineering so that is DNA contains one or more genes not normally found there. A high percentage of food crops, such as corn and soybeans, are genetically modified. Genetic modification is the process of forcing genes from one species into another entirely unrelated species.

Three Basic Elements of the Green Revolution in India

1. Continued expansion of farming areas;

To increase overall totals of crop yield, the area under cultivation was increase right from 1947. This was not sufficient to meet the rising demands, so other methods were employed as well to aid in the green revolution.


2. Double-cropping exhsitng of farming areas;

Double-cropping was a primary feature of the Green Revolution. Instead of one crop season per year, the decision was made to have two crop seasons per year, which was based on the two monsoons per year (one man-made the other natural).


3. Using seeds with improved genetics;

The Indian Council for Agricultural Research was re-organized in 1965 and then again in 1973. It has developed new strains of high yeild value (HYV) seeds, mainly wheat and rice but also millet and corn.

Consequences of the Green Revolution

Positive Results:

The Green Revolution resulted in a record grain output of 131 million tons in 1978-79. This established India as one of the world's biggest agricultural producers. No other country in the world which attempted the Green Revoultion recorded such level of success.


Yeild per unit of farmland improved by more than 30 per cent between 1947 (when India gained political independence) and 1979 when the Green Revolution was considered to have delivered its goods.

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Economic/ sociological resulted of the Green Revolution

The crop areas under HYV varieties grew from seven per cent to 22 per cent of the total cultivated area during the 10 years of the Green Revolution. More than 70 per cent of the wheat crop area, 35 per cent of then rice crop area and 20 per cent of the millet and corn crop areas used the HYV seeds.


Then increase in irrigation created need for new dams to harnesses monsoon water. The water stored was used to create hydro-electric power, which in return boosted industrial growth, created jobs, and improved the quality of life of the people in villages.


India paid back all loans it had taken from the world bank, which improved India's creditworthiness in the eyes of lending agencies.


The Green Revolution created plenty of jobs not only for agricultural workers but also industrial workers by the creation of lateral facilities such as factories and hydro-electric power stations as explained above.

Limitations of the Green Revolution

India's agricultural output, sometimes falls short of demand, the Green Revolution, howsover impressive, has thus Not succeeded in making India totally and permanently self-sufficient in food. In a global economy, 100% self sufficiency is not considered as vital as it was when the wolds political climate was more dangerous due to the Cold War.


India has failed to extend the concept of high-yield value seeds to all crops or all regions. In terms of crops, it remains largely confined to food grains only, not to all kinds of agricultural produce.

Negative Environmental and Human Health Impacts

Environment:

The Indian state of Punjab is witnessing serious consequence of intensive farming using chemical and pesticides.


Human Health:

The consumption of the pesticides used to kill pest by humans in some cases may be increasing the likelihood of cancer in some of the rural villages that us them. Poor farming practices inclhding non-compliance to usage of maks and over-usage of the chemicals cause this situation.

Genetically Modified Prganisms Positive and Negatives

Positives:
  • Reduced need for pesticides
  • Reduced need for herbicides
  • Ability to manipulate foods to increase desirable components such ad nutrients
  • Reduced greenhouses emissions as GMO'S require less tillage or plowing, this use less fossil fuels.
  • Increase production of food
  • Can increase size of animals and. Umber of animals to get more of the animal than normal.


Negatives:

  • Pollen from modified plants can and will spread and infect other plants creating "super weeds" with insecticidal properties or herbicides resistance.
  • Multiple toxins from GMO'S have been detected in maternal and fetal blood.
  • Haven't been around long enough to have long term effects.
  • Not much testing has been done
  • Have been connected with an increase risk of cancer.