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Green Revolution in Developing Countries

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  • 1. MODERN GREEN REVOLUTION PRACTICES IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD Aaron Wenger – Agron 342 November 7, 2008
  • 2. WHAT IS THE “GREEN REVOLUTION”?
    • Norman E. Borlaug
    • 1940’s-1960’s developed various wheat and rice varieties to increase agricultural production worldwide and offset hunger and famine.
    • Breed plants known for high-yield characteristics
    • Crossed plants that had desirable traits, such as light insensitivity, high leaf area (vegetative material) and responsiveness to fertilization
    • Began working with wheat varieties in Mexico, moved to rice in India.
    • Greatly impacted these areas, production sky-rocketed, famine was halted, countries began exporting these crops to increase their income.
    • ( www.geography.about.com ) “Green Revolution”
  • 3. THE GREEN REVOLUTION TODAY
    • Borlaug crossed plant varieties to achieve a genetically superior plant, now insect resistant genes, chemical resistant genes, and some environmental condition resistances are being inserted into the plant to increase their productivity.
    • Transgenic / Bt (Bacillus Thuringiensis) naturally occurring gene found in the soil that when ingested by insects (larvae) they are killed.
    • Most common planted Bt crops in the world are: Cotton, Maize, Soybeans, and Rice.
    • (www.agbioforum.org)
  • 4. BENEFITS OF BT CROPS www.agbioforum.org Impacted Areas Current Future Agricultural Practices -Less / More efficient use of pesticides -Increased productivity -More diversified agricultural products. -Pharmaceutical Crops Governmental / Social -Macroeconomic Gains -Higher efficiency of agricultural sector -Improved food / feed quality -Increased consumer confidence -Even greater improvements in food and feed quality (increases life expectancy) Economic Benefits-Growers -Improved control of weeds & insects -Reduced input costs; labor, chemical application, -Increased yields -Decreased exposure to harmful chemical products -Increased profit, more produced on a per acre basis -Trend will continue -Moving away from subsistence farming, will be able to sell surplus for income, increase standard of living. Economic Benefits-Consumers -Reduced food costs because of higher availability. -Less pesticide usage -Lower pathogen load, overall healthier item to eat -Greater range of affordable food choices.
  • 5. BENEFITS CONT.
    • Many countries are seeing the benefits of Bt crops in several ways.
      • Farmers are receiving more income, in turn can increase their families standard of living and invest in their local economy.
      • Crops are not as labor intensive to grow with the use of pesticides and the crops natural defense mechanisms, decreased child labor requirements.
      • Surplus of food is grown, subsistence farming decreasing, fewer farmers are able to produce more food.
      • Food prices are declining because of the surplus, allows poorer families to purchase food again.
      • Increased agriculture production is strengthening the local economy, jobs are created.
      • Family sizes can be decreased because of reduced labor req. women are not mired in homes and used for child-rearing purposes only.
  • 6. CONCERNS
    • Ethical Concerns about Bt crops has seen to be the largest hurdle in developing countries.
      • “ Playing god by manipulating the genetic structure of a plant…”
      • “ Unsure of the potential side effects…”
    • Rather than wasting time, energy, and lives…
      • Make an educated decision and focus on the positives that this technology can provide, not only for the country, but for the hungry families.
    • Decrease genetic variability…
      • Plants or more importantly pest / insects will become resistant to the gene or chemical and we will be unable to effectively kill the desired pest.
    • http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/006/Y5160E/Y5160E00.HTM
  • 7. ARE BT CROPS REALLY HELPING THE POOR? TABLE REFERENCING DISTRIBUTION OF BT COTTON ADOPTED BY SIZE OF FARM OR INCOME CLASS IN CHINA, 1999 % Bt crops found in observations (Lb/Ac) Yield Increase ($/Ac) Change in Cost ($/Ac) Change in Net Income Farm Size 0-1 Acre 86 +365 -$14.40 +$356.89 1-2.5 Acres 85 -119 -$475.26 +$414.74 2.5 + Acres 87 -110 -$161.98 +$164.65 Household Income ($) 1-1,200 85 +151.3 -$268.78 +$338.20 1,200 + 91 +57.85 -$48.06 +$139.73 Per Capita Income ($) 1-180 85 +405.84 -$191.35 +$396.94 180-360 83 +7.12 -$252.76 +$269.67 360+ 97 -53.40 +$0.89 -$13.35 http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/006/Y5160E/y5160e09.htm#P1_30
  • 8. CONCLUSION
    • For Bt Crops and Technology to continue to infiltrate developing countries there must be…
      • Ensured resources to cover the high costs of inputs and developments
      • Building an enabling environment for the promotion of Bt Technology.
      • Integrating Bt Technology with conventional research programs.
      • Addressing corporate control, market power, and distribution implications.
      • Ensuring consumer protection and acceptance
      • Enhancing the stability of Bt Technology programs.
    • If these can be diligently worked on cooperatively, the future for Bt Crops and their role in aiding developing countries offset hunger and impoverishment, is a bright and exciting future.
    • http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/006/Y5160E/y5160e13.htm#P41_16455