Green Revolution and GMOs

Joshua Eapen

Causes and Results of the Bengal Famine of 1943

India underwent a major famine in 1943. The famine caused a estimated 4 million deaths due to malnutrition and a lack of food for the population. India went to extreme measures in order to help their country get back on their feet. Due to the lack of food, India underwent the Green Revolution in order to fix the predicament. This resulted in the use of GMOs in India and being able to crop two seasons a year due to the creation of artificial monsoons. This resulted in the decrease of starvation in India and allowing the country to become a exporter of food.

Elements of the Green Revolution in India

1. Continued Expansion of Farming Areas
-During the Green Revolution, the amount of land that was being tended and cultivated increased, but didn't supply enough resources necessary. Due to this, the amount of farmlands and cultivable land increased in order to supply India with the necessary tools to succeed.


2. Double-Cropping Existing Farmland

-Originally, farming was based on the one-crop-season-per-year thought process due to the fact that there was only one natural occurring monsoon each year. The decision was then made to follow a two-crop-seasons-per-year process. In order for this to work, an artificial monsoon would have to occur. These man-made monsoons were created by building dams that would hold back water, and then would release it when it was the necessary time.


3. Using Seeds with Improved Genetics

-Another attempt towards a solution was made by the Indian Council for Agricultural Research. This organization created high yield value seeds of wheat, rice, millet, and corn. These seeds had advanced genetics that allowed it to produce better crops, even under non-ideal conditions.

Positive Results of the Green Revolution in India

1. Increased Standard of Living

2. Raised Farmer's Income

3. Number of Poor People Decreased from 1.15 billion to 825 million

4. Allowed for Better Nutrition

Positive Economic, Sociologic, or Political Results of the Green Revolution in India

Economic

1. Need for local manufacturing increased creation of new jobs and boosting country's GDP.

2. The need for new dams resulted in more jobs, industrial growth, and an improvement of the quality of villager life.

3. India's ability to pay back loans from the World Bank increased India's creditworthiness allowing lending agencies to be able to trust India for future investments.

4. India's ample amount of experiences farmers were admired and requested by Canada in order to booth their agricultural labor.


Sociological

1. Created Numerous Jobs


Political

1. Went from a starving country to exporting food around the world.

2. Made Mrs. Gandhi's Party a powerful political factor in India.

Limitations of the Green Revolution in India

1. Even though High-Yield Value Seeds are commonly used in India, the seeds are only for food grains such as wheat and not for all of the vital crops needed.

2. The Green Revolution was very beneficial in the process of trying to rid the lack of food availability, but wasn't successful in eliminating starvation all around India.

Green Revolution Advantages and Disadvantages/Concerns

Advantages

There were numerous benefits to the Green Revolution including the mass creation of jobs, production of larger quantities of food, and crops that can grow and survive I many different environments. Also, The Green Revolution allowed almost twice the crops to grow on the same amount of land.


Disadvantages/Concerns

The Green Revolution resulted in the widespread use of pesticides on crops. This makes insects not want to eat the plants, which harms the environment by making the insects to starve. Also, pesticides can poison farmers and cause serious water contamination. The need to water crops has also created problems such as waterlogging and salinization. Also, the use of chemicals causes erosion and pollution. Finally, it has been proven by scientific studies that organic foods are healthier than GMOs and foods treated with pesticides.

Advantages and Disadvantages of GMOs

  • Advantages
  • 1.Crops are more productive, causing them to produce more.
  • 2.There is a possibility that GMOs will be able to eliminate food based allergies.

    3.These crops are resistant to pests, weeds and disease.

    4.GMOs are more capable of thriving in harsh regions with poor soil or non ideal climates.

    5.Require less herbicides and pesticides.

    6.Foods stay ripe for longer periods of time allowing them to be able to be shipped long distances and have a long shelf life.


    Disadvantages

    1.Scientists do not know the side effects of consuming these foods that have undergone mutations.

  • 2.These GMOs have built up such a strong immunity to chemicals causing stronger chemicals to be used in order to kill these plants which also harms the environment.
  • 3.GMO plants pollinate with non GMO plants and this crossbreeding is bad for the non GMO plant and destroys the environment.
  • 4.Because these GMO plants are immune to antibiotics, when you consume medication, your body doesn't receive the entire healing because of the immunity which cause the medicine to be less effective.

    5.Crossbreeding creates super weeds that are impossible to destroy with modern day technology and ruin the environment.

    Eyes of Nye - GM foods - HTS2100 edition
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