Join the Green Revolution

By Mayuri Raja

Growing Population

The population in less developed countries is growing exponentially, and farmers in less developed countries are having a hard time keeping up with the growth. As Thomas Malthus predicted, human population growth was outpacing food production. Something needed to be done-- and quick. Enter Norman Borlaug.

Norman Borlaug

Norman Borlaug was the father of the Green Revolution. He used biotechnology to create new strains of wheat, corn, rice and other crops and improved agricultural techniques.

Genetically Modified Crops and Dwarf Plants

The genetically modified plants had desirable qualities such as high protein levels and resistance to plant diseases. They also allowed more food to be grown on less land, saving rain forests from being cleared.

Genetically modified crops thrived and increased income used to buy better equipment to improve farming.

Dwarf plants were shorter, responded to higher rates of soil nutrients, and would stay upright, whereas taller plants would fall over or break before harvest. Dwarf plants were more durable and produced higher yields.

Mexico's Success

Borlaug helped Mexico, then India, then Pakistan by increasing wheat and rice yields. He also spread knowledge of biotech to China, Vietnam, and Brazil to help feed the growing population.

India's Success

Continued expansion of farming areas was not most striking feature of Revolution and was already occurring before Revolution, but it was still a part of the Green Revolution. Double-cropping existing farmland was the primary feature of Revolution. Two crops seasons happened per year, one during monsoon season and another during 'artificial monsoon season'. Huge irrigation systems and dams were built to create an artificial monsoon season.Seeds with superior genetics were created by the Indian Council for Agricultural Research, which was re-organized in 1965 and 1973. The organization engineered new strains of seeds for wheat, rice, millet, and corn. Dr. M.P. Singh, one of the leading engineers, was considered the hero of the Green Revolution.

The use of high-yield varieties increased 22%, and the yield per unit of farmland increased 30%. India became one of the biggest agricultural producers in the world.

Industrial growth was spurred by the building of dams, which allowed the use of hydroelectric power, and the need for more chemicals, which stimulated the growth of the local manufacturing sector. Multiple jobs were created in this process, both for agricultural needs and in the industry sector. India earned the respect of many third world countries by transforming from a country that could barely feed its population to a leading agricultural producer.