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Increasing Yields: The Green Revolution. Sources:. http://www.lastfirst.net/images/product/R004548.jpg. Yields have increased. British wheat yields tripled in last 50 years 15X increase from 500 years ago Cereal yield worldwide doubled since 1960s. Reasons Yields Increase. Increased inputs

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increasing yields the green revolution

Increasing Yields:The Green Revolution

Sources:

http://www.lastfirst.net/images/product/R004548.jpg

yields have increased
Yields have increased
  • British wheat yields tripled in last 50 years
    • 15X increase from 500 years ago
  • Cereal yield worldwide doubled since 1960s
reasons yields increase
Reasons Yields Increase
  • Increased inputs
    • Labor
    • Fertilizer
    • Machinery
  • increased output
    • Using technology
    • without increasing inputs
  • Increased efficiency
production function
Production Function
  • Initially, as input increases, output increases
  • Eventually, a point of maximum efficiency will be reached
  • Additional input will lead to diminished increases in output
inputs
Inputs
  • Fertilizer
    • Can improve yields dramatically: 20-1000%
    • Diminished response if keep adding
    • Reduces growth at high levels
    • Effectiveness depends on
      • Water/Irrigation
      • Timing of application
    • Biggest increase will be in Africa
      • Dem. Rep. Congo uses 1% fertilizer used in South Africa

Cassava in Gambia

inputs1
Inputs
  • Animal Traction
    • 400 million draft animals in world
    • ½ World’s ag land farmed with draft animals
    • ¼ farmed with hand tools
    • ¼ mechanized

China

use of draft animals
Use of Draft Animals
  • Do the work of 3-4 humans
  • Increase land able to be farmed
  • Animal plowing breaks soil better than by hand
  • Source of fertilizer
  • Initial cost high
    • Profitable if can expand land

Vietnam

tractors
Tractors
  • Poorest farmers will consider moving from hand tools to animals
  • Farmers using animals will consider using machinery
  • May not be efficient choice:
    • Credit limited
    • Gas expensive
    • Maintenance expensive
    • But labor cheap

Zimbabwe

big growers more efficient
Big Growers More Efficient?
  • Are big growers more efficient?
    • have the know-how to produce
  • Would redistribution of land would lower production?
    • hurt the hungry?

Brazil Farm

answer
Answer
  • Big Growers are actually less efficient than small growers in yield/acre
  • Often land left idle by large landowners (89% in Brazil)
  • Big operations are fossil fuel intensive requiring 10 Calories for every one produced: NeoCaloric Ag
answer1
Answer
  • Small farmers use labor more intensively
  • Small farmers use space more efficiently
  • Small landowners more motivated for production and conservation

Tanzania

big growers
Big Growers
  • Advantages of wealth and size
    • Big farms can more easily survive
  • Large operations with absentee owners (investors) tend to:
    • Overuse the soil
    • Over-spray with chemicals
    • Remove wealth generated from the community
land reform
Land Reform
  • World Bank: productivity would be increased if land distribution more equitable
  • Land reform (redistribution) successful after WWII:
    • South Korea,
    • Taiwan
    • China
  • Recent success
    • Japan
    • Zimbabwe
    • Kerala, India

Kerala, India

green revolution
Green Revolution
  • 1960’s: improved wheat varieties gave dramatic increase in yield in Mexico
  • Varieties more responsive to irrigation and petrochemical fertilizers
  • Soon new rice and maize varieties
norman borlaug
Norman Borlaug
  • Joined Rockefeller Foundation team in Mexico 1944
  • Increased yield, rust resistance in wheat
  • Biggest contributor to Green Revolution
  • Won Nobel Peace Prize in 1970
green revolution1
Green Revolution
  • 1970’s: spread to millions of third world farmers
  • 1990’s: 40% of all farms in third world
    • 75% Rice in Asia
    • 80% Wheat in third world
    • 70% Corn worldwide
  • Improved standard of living for millions people worldwide
cimmyt
CIMMYT
  • CIMMYT
    • International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
    • In Mexico
  • Part of CGIAR
    • Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
criticisms of the green revolution
Criticisms of the Green Revolution
  • Green Revolution hasn’t alleviated hunger
  • Economic power, land controlled by few
  • Technology benefits wealthy
  • Therefore Green Revolution increases inequity
  • More hunger AND more food at same time
criticisms of the green revolution1
Criticisms of the Green Revolution
  • Food Insecurity of poor not addressed
  • Cash Crops: food flows from the poor and hungry nations to the rich and well-fed nations
  • Green Revolution not sustainable
    • destroys resource base on which agriculture depends
example india
Example: India
  • Self-sufficient in grain due to Green Revolution
  • But 1/3 of people poor
  • 5,000 children die each day
  • Poor cannot afford to BUY the food

India

criticisms of the green revolution2
Criticisms of the Green Revolution
  • Early, poor had little access to credit
  • Could not buy seeds, fertilizer, irrigation to make Green Revolution work
  • Wealthy invested, got richer, drove out poor
  • Now, more emphasis on loans for poor
there are still problems
There are still problems
  • Need good land (wealthy own)
  • Agrochemicals bad for health, environment
  • Expensive inputs: profits to global chemical companies
  • Rural people displaced from land
  • Mechanization reduces agricultural jobs
  • Not ecologically sustainable: depletes soil, pesticide race
philippines example
Philippines Example
  • Two villages studied:
    • large and small farmers invested in Green Revolution
  • Village 1 had more equal land holdings, solidarity
    • All benefited from Green Revolution
  • Village 2 dominated by a few wealthy landowners.
    • Wealthy increased land by 50% at expense of poor
farm squeeze
Farm Squeeze
  • Fertilizer use increases by huge amount
  • Yields do not increase proportionally
  • India: 6x rise in fertilizer use but 2/3 less production/ton fertilizer
  • Need more fertilizer, pesticide each year for same result
  • Thus cost go up faster than yields: cost-price squeeze
farm squeeze1
Farm Squeeze
  • U.S. true home of Green Revolution
  • Yields up 3x
    • but prices down
  • To survive, must expand acreage
    • to make up for lower per acre profit.
u s farm squeeze
U.S. Farm Squeeze
  • Since WWII
    • number of farms decreased 2/3
    • average farm size up ½
    • rural communities gutted
    • production costs up from 50% of gross to 80%
soil depletion worldwide
Soil Depletion Worldwide
  • Dramatic increases in yields during 1970s, 1980s
  • Soil now depleted, resulting in leveling off or dropping yields
  • 6% of Ag land in India now useless
slide28
Rice
  • Rice breeding at International Rice Research Institute: IRRI
rice problem
Rice Problem
  • 1968: IR8 rice had 2x yield increase
    • Short
      • need herbicides to compete with weeds
    • Uniform genetically
      • susceptible to pests
    • Brown plant hopper devastated rice
    • Insecticide spraying useless
      • brown hopper resistant
rice problem1
Rice Problem
  • 1973: IR26 Resistant to brown plant hopper
    • Worked 2 years
    • Then Biotype 2 of plant hoppers attacked
rice problem2
Rice Problem
  • 1975: IR32 Resistant to Biotype 2
    • Now Biotype 3 appeared
    • Insecticides again useless
    • Insecticides killed off brown hopper predators
    • Resulted in 40x increase in hoppers
profits
Profits
  • Profits from Green Revolution go to
    • Middlemen
    • Banks
    • Chemical companies
    • Biggest growers
  • Grain prices fall
  • Farms get bigger

Brazil

increased dependency
Increased Dependency
  • Poor countries must import:
    • Seeds
    • Fertilizer
    • Pesticides
    • Herbicides
  • Cost to India increased 600% 1960-1980
  • Biotechnology leads to more dependency
unsustainable agriculture
Unsustainable Agriculture
  • Industrial agriculture =
    • mining land to extract maximum output
  • “War” between humans and weeds, insects and disease
  • Market dictates weapons:
    • pesticides and chemical fertilizers
  • We are destroying our food- producing resources
destruction of ag resources
Destruction of Ag Resources
  • Desertification
  • Soil erosion
  • Pesticide contamination
  • Groundwater depletion
  • Salinization
  • Urban sprawl
  • Genetic resources shrinking
  • Fossil fuels depleting
sustainable agriculture goals
Sustainable Agriculture Goals
  • Environmental Health
  • Economic Profitability
  • Social and Economic Equity
agroecology
Agroecology
  • Sustainable farming based on

ecological principles:

    • Diversity
    • Interdependence
    • Synergy
    • Complex interactions
  • Science to improve not displace traditional farming
  • Low energy, capital costs
agroecology1
Agroecology
  • Intercropping
    • Mixing annual and perennial crops
  • Crop rotations
    • Rotate cereals and legumes
  • Mixing of plant and animal production
    • Rice paddies with edible weeds, fish and rice
  • Not continuous production of one crop
africa
Africa
  • Fragile soils must be protected
  • Could mix millet, cattle, and Acacia trees
  • Trees fix nitrogen, have deep tap roots
  • Cattle eat tree pods
  • Plant millet after leaves fall
  • Could support 2x population in Senegal
  • Aid agencies instead promoting new seeds, fertilizers, agrochemicals, biotechnology, free trade
slide40

Evergreen Revolution

  • Swaminathan led Green Revolution in India
  • Agrees cannot maintain crop yields
  • Problems:
    • Excessive use of pesticides
    • Groundwater depletion
    • Pollution
    • Monoculture
  • Therefore, India needs sustainable agriculture
    • “Evergreen Revolution “

M.S. Swaminathan

World Food Prize 1987

vandana shiva
Vandana Shiva

"Ecological problems arise from applying the engineering paradigm to life."

http://myhero.com/myhero/hero.asp?hero=Shiva

critic of the green revolution in india
Critic of the Green Revolution in India
  • “The Green Revolution has been a failure.
    • It has led to reduced genetic diversity,
    • increased vulnerability to pests,
    • soil erosion,
    • water shortages,
    • reduced soil fertility,
    • micronutrient deficiencies,
    • soil contamination…

Vandana Shiva

critic of the green revolution in india1
Critic of the Green Revolution in India
  • “…reduced availability of nutritious food crops for the local population,
  • the displacement of vast numbers of small farmers form their land,
  • rural impoverishment and
  • increased tensions and conflicts. …

Vandana Shiva

critic of the green revolution in india2
Critic of the Green Revolution in India
  • “…The beneficiaries have been
    • the agrochemical industry,
    • large petrochemical companies,
    • manufacturers of agricultural machinery,
    • dam builders and
    • large landowners.”

-- Vandana Shiva "The Violence of the Green Revolution: Ecological Degradation and Political Conflict in Punjab." The Ecologist, 1991, 21(2):57-60

genetic engineering the next green revolution
Genetic Engineering:The Next Green Revolution ?

http://www.businessweek.com/1999/99_15/b3624011.htm

next green revolution
Next Green Revolution?
  • Biotechnology will help developing countries accomplish things that they could never do with conventional plant breeding”
  • “I believe genetically modified food crops will stop world hunger.”

Norman Borlaug Nobel Peace Prize

the next green revolution
The Next Green Revolution?
  • Biotechnology helps farmers produce higher yields on less land.
  • Technology allows us to have less impact on soil erosion, biodiversity, wildlife, forests, and grasslands
  • To achieve comparable yields (1950-1999) with old farming methods, would have needed an additional 1.8 Billion hectares of land

Norman Borlaug Nobel Peace Prize

biotechnology critic
Biotechnology Critic
  • Biotechnology development
    • Same vision as chemical industry:
      • Short term goals
        • Enhanced yields, profit margins
      • Nature should be dominated and exploited
        • forced to yield more
      • Prefer quick solutions
        • to complex ecological problems
      • Reductionist thinking about farming
        • Instead of integrated systems
      • Agricultural success means
        • Short term profits
        • Not long term sustainability

-- Jane Rissler, Union of Concerned Scientists