The Green Revolution and GMOs

By Robby Fitzgerald

1) What were the causes and results of the Bengal famine in 1943?

the Bengal famine of 1943 was caused by the hysteria of World War II. The British, who were controls indie at the time, had little to no interest in creating food, being more focused on war efforts. This, combined with the indian traders market strategy of withholding food, in order to raise prices, caused a large amount of starvation to occur. This ended with over 4 million people dying, due to hunger alone.

The results of the famine were very advantageous for the country. The fear of the return of famine caused the country to develop laws that would protect food, and increase the flow of food from merchants to consumers, by preventing the withholding of food. There were also several other laws passed that helped protect food. However, these laws were not successful, causing a "green revolution" to occur.

What were the three basic elements of the green revolution?

First, the government helped farmers increase their area to farm. They were attempting these before the true green revolution, and continued to do so during it.

Second, double cropping occurred. The idea was to increase the number of crop seasons a year. This was difficult for India, due to the long dry period that existed. Their solution was to create an artificial monsoon. They used large pumping stations to make use of monsoon water that would originaly be waisted.

Third, the use of genetically altered plants was used. The scientist, Dr. M.P. Singh, was responsible for this developments. He created the most efficient strai. of HYV, or high yield value, plants. This strain was the K68 wheat variety. Dr. Singh is known as being the hero of the green revolution in India, due to his K68 strand being able to supply food to a large demographic

Positive results

The green revolution resulted in a record output of grain from India. The country created 131 million tons of grain, wich is 262 billion pounds. This was a record around he world, and high above the yields of any other country that underwent the green revolution.

The amount of crop yields increased by 30% between 1947(time of Indian independence) and 1979, when the green revolution truly took off.

Economic, sociological, and political results

Economic: Several dams were created to help Irrigate the countries fields. The stored water was eventually used for hydropower, allowing for increased industrialization, and job opportunities.

Sociological:the green revolution resulted in an increased number of jobs in the agricultural and industrial sectors.

Political: Indias ability to transform from a starving nation to an agricutural market helped it earn global recognition when it entered the global market.

Limitations of the green revolution

1) even though the Indian green revolution was extremely successful, the country does not alway meet food demands, and is therefore not completely self sufficient. This cause the country to sometimes have to rely on other countries in order to feed its people.

2) the countries has yet to expand the use of HYV plants to a large amount of it's country. Areas of India that did make use of HYVs were considered the best example of the green revolution, much larger than areas that did not.


Health risks: the use of a single product to create large amounts of food puts dietary risks in the spotlight, due to the large access to a single type of food, and the small amount of other types of food.

Enviormental risks: the use of pesticides can contaminate water sources, greatly harming a population. The use of the mineral intensive HYV plats causes a plot of land to lose the farmland.


Positives: GMO's expand the lifespan of plants, repel insects, improve the amount of crops grown, and help the plants grow faster

Negatives: Plants with GMO's are expensive, difficult to maintain, can contaminate an enviorment, require a large amount of nutrients, and do not have as many nutrients as an organic plant.