Green Revolution and GMO's

By: Anand Singh Pd. 3

What were the causes and results of the Bengal Famine in 1943?

The Bengal Famine occurred in British-ruled India. An estimated 4 million people died in Eastern India (including Bangladesh). The initial theory to explain that catastrophe was that there was an acute shortfall in food production in the area. However, Indian economist Amartya Sen suggested that the food shortage was just one aspect. During World War II, the food supply in India was their lowest priority. On top of that, Indian traders hoarded food so they could sell the food at higher prices. These factors led to four million people dying because of hunger. Four years after their independence, food security became a very important for the Indian government. This lead to the green revolution to occur and turning around India's food production and converting from a subsistence agricultural economy to more of a commercial agricultural economy.

Briefly describe the three basic elements of the Green Revolution in India

During the Green Revolution in India from 1967-1978, the government wanted to continue expansion of farming areas, double cropping existing farmland, and using seeds with improved genetics. The invention of biotechnology made it beneficial to create GMO's.

List two positive results of the Green Revolution in India

One result was that the yield per unit of farmland improved by more than 30 percent between 1947 to 1969. Another result was that it resulted in a record grain output of 131 million tons 1978-1979. That established India as one of the world's biggest agricultural producers. India became an exporter of food grains around that time.
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List three positive economic, sociologic, or political results of the Green Revolution in India

An economic impact from the Green Revolution was that the increase in irrigation created new dams to harness monsoon water. This boosted their economy because more jobs were created.

A sociological result was that the Green Revolution created many jobs for the agricultural workers and industrial workers by the creation of lateral facilities such as factories and hydro-electric power.

A political result is that India transformed from a starving nation to an exporter of food. This earned admiration for India in the comity of nations, especially in Third World.

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Briefly describe two limitations of the green Revolution in India

A limitation was that a period of extensive droughts caused food shortage and the agricultural output sometimes fell short of the demand due to its rapidly growing population. 100% self sufficiency was not attained by India.

Another limitation was that India failed to extend the concept of high-yield value seeds to all crops or all regions. Not all of the regions in India are receiving a sufficient amount of seeds to produce a large quantity of food.

Concerns over the Green Revolution

For the human health risks the pesticides used in GMO's could cause health problems once ingested into a human. Also the pesticides used could be harmful to the environment because they cause pollution and kill insects and bugs. The amount of water used for agriculture would increase and cause a shortage of water for the public. The antimicrobials used on the crops could eventually create a resistance and once ingested could be very unhealthy.
India's Green Revolution

Pros of GMO's

  • The taste of the crops are better tasting due to some of the ingredients within the substance they inject into the plant.
  • The quality of the crops will be much better.
  • The plants and animals that have been genetically modified, can become more resistant to potential diseases or viruses.
  • There are more nutritious benefits where the crop and be inserted with vitamins and minerals.
  • The amount of plants or animals produced can be greatly increased due to the alter of the DNA.
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Cons of GMO's

  • The GMO's could cause environmental damage to the crops or the animals.
  • The GMO's take as long as it would for a normal seed so there is no economic value.
  • Studies have shown that many GMO's have set up a chain of allergic reactions across people who consume those types of crops or the genetically modified animals.
  • The tests are not always 100% effective. There could be many sources of error.
  • Some people would want 100% natural food but they would not be alerted that the crop was genetically modified.
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