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Thegreenrevolutioninindia 090420180040-phpapp01


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  • 1. Laura Mulvey
    The Green Revolution in India
    Changing Agricultural Traditions
  • 2. What was the green revolution?
    A movement starting post WWII to address food shortages in developing countries
    International relief organizations invested in research to breed more productive rice and wheat crops
    New agricultural technologies were brought to India- fertilizer, agrochemicals, new types of irrigation
  • 3. Major issues
    Conflict between western and traditional indigenous views
    An effort to break ecological limits that resulted in new types of insecurity and vulnerability
    Political, cultural and economic issues inherent in green revolution exacerbated political, ethnic and religious tensions
  • 4. Why was a revolution needed?
    Famine had ripped though parts of India in the past, and many economists and agricultural scientists predicted worse famine in the future is a new plan was not put in place
    Overpopulation was stretching India’s food resources
    Government inability to ensure proper movement of good to areas that were in need
  • 5. What were the political consequences?
    Growing Fears in US about spread of communism
    Food insecurity created political insecurity which could lead to communist uprisings
    Part of the US strategy to combat communism was to ensure food security in developing countries
    President Truman visiting the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines
  • 6. Green revolution vs. traditional agriculture
    Green revolution introduced High Yielding Crop Varieties (HYCVs) to India
    HYCVs required constant input of agrochemicals (pesticides etc.) and fertilizers
    New irrigation techniques were implemented
    HYCV seeds and agrochemicals needed to be obtained from NGOs or from large distributors
    Created difficult environment for small farmers
    Seed had traditionally been harvested yearly from the field, now farming required lots of inputs
  • 7. High yield crop varieties (HYCVs)
    International Rice Research Institute, IRRI
    IR8 “miracle seed”
    Cooking quality issues
    Pest resistance issues
    With proper inputs (fertilizer, chemicals) could produce up to 5x more grain per hectare
    Semi dwarf varieties developed
    More plant mass found in grain
    Resistant to high winds
    Distribution plant for IR8 in Africa
  • 8. Agrochemicals
    • Fertilizers had not been used on traditional crop varieties, promoted vegetation growth without increasing yield
    • 9. Pesticide use necessary, many HYCV had poor pest resistance
    Issues from improper use of agrochemicals
    Farmers wee not always taught proper application techniques
    Toxic issues from pesticides
    Over fertilization
    Most fertilizers imported from US
    Created large market for fertilizer manufacturing
    Many war time explosive manufacturing plants converted to fertilizer manufacturing
  • 10.
  • 11. How did India benefit?
    Increased Crop Yield seen in majority of HYCV areas
    Large expansion of HYCV use continued well though the 80’s
    Farms with proper use of agrochemicals/fertilizers saw dramatic increase
    Benefit not seen as much in small farms
    Eventually in most areas crop yield plateaued and subsequently fell
  • 12. What were the ecological consequences?
    Problems with soil fertility
    Micronutrient issues
    Increased dependence of external applications of fertilizer
    Water quality issues
    Ecological degradation caused returns to decrease at the years went on
    Loss of diversity
    Improper application of pesticides caused poisoning
    Activist poster from the 1980s calling for an end to pesticide use
  • 13. What were the social and political consequences
    Changed the nature of agriculture, from internal to external inputs (buying seed, fertilizer etc)
    The commercialization of relationships and subsequent cultural erosion
    The rapid increase in grain in the first several years drove down the price of food, harder for small farmers to make a profit
    It increased competition for smaller resources, rural inequality
  • 14. What were the social and political consequences
    Seed and chemical distribution was controlled by the Indian government, the top-down approach created tensions in the state
    Decreasing return on investments caused many farmers to blame government
    Increased ethnic and religious tensions
    Feelings of resentment among farmers
    Farm riots
  • 15. Crisis in Punjab
    Punjab region once known as India's “bread basket”
    Inhabited by Sikh minority
    Tensions between state and central Indian government over control of agricultural economics
    Increased ethnic/religious tensions
    Call for formation of independent Sikh state
  • 16. Crisis in Punjab
  • 17. How does this relate to environmental history?
    Changed how farmers interacted with the environment
    Movement to high tech centralized agriculture
    Commercialization of major grain seed
    Illustrates relationships between environmental degradation and political/social issues