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The Green Revolution. The 3 rd Agricultural Revolution. History of the Green Revolution. Beginning. Rockefeller and Ford Foundation invest in agricultural development in Mexico in the 1940-60s

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The Green Revolution

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the green revolution

The Green Revolution

The 3rd Agricultural Revolution

  • Rockefeller and Ford Foundation invest in agricultural development in Mexico in the 1940-60s
  • Led by Norman Borlaug, scientist were able to create varieties of wheat that were disease resistant, flourished with customized fertilizer, could be grown year round, and produced more wheat
  • After success in Mexico Borlaug goes to India where a new strain of rice, along with improved fertilizers and irrigation produce more crops
  • Avoids mass famine
  • Engineered rice was also successful in the Philippines
  • Existing methods of irrigation, fertilizer, and pesticides brought to new parts of the world = increase yields
higher yields
Higher Yields
  • India’s wheat production in 1960s was at 10 million tons. In 2006 it was 73 million tons.
lack of biodiversity
Lack of Biodiversity
  • We have selected only a few crops, allowing others to die out
  • Chemicals used to kill insects and pests have been linked to cancer and other aliments in humans
  • Leak into drinking water, surrounding habitats
  • Resistant pests!!!
  • The Green Revolution did not change who owned the land = poor getting poorer…
  • Poor people still can’t afford food which has lead to some government storing food while people starve
  • The Green Revolution has resulted in very little success in Africa
    • Political turmoil
    • Corruption and violence
    • Access to water
oil dependency
Oil Dependency
  • Fertilizers and machines require oil. Increasing world use of petroleum products
  • Petroleum is a finite resource!!!
  • Malthus could prove to be right, eventually.
  • The planet has a finite amount of fresh water, arable land, and petroleum, all of which are essential to the Green Revolutions success
  • Current population trends are not sustainable
bottom line
Bottom Line

Borlaug on the Green Revolution:

"a change in the right direction, but it has not transformed the world into a Utopia”.

Borlaug on Environmental Lobbyists:

"some of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitists. They've never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels... If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for fifty years, they'd be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things"