Transcript of "Thegreenrevolutioninindia 090420180040-phpapp01"
Laura Mulvey<br />The Green Revolution in India<br /> Changing Agricultural Traditions<br />
What was the green revolution?<br />A movement starting post WWII to address food shortages in developing countries<br /> International relief organizations invested in research to breed more productive rice and wheat crops<br />New agricultural technologies were brought to India- fertilizer, agrochemicals, new types of irrigation<br />
Major issues <br />Conflict between western and traditional indigenous views <br />Development<br />Science<br />Agriculture <br />Environment<br />An effort to break ecological limits that resulted in new types of insecurity and vulnerability <br />Political, cultural and economic issues inherent in green revolution exacerbated political, ethnic and religious tensions <br />
Why was a revolution needed?<br />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<br />Overpopulation was stretching India’s food resources<br />Government inability to ensure proper movement of good to areas that were in need <br />
What were the political consequences?<br />Growing Fears in US about spread of communism<br />Food insecurity created political insecurity which could lead to communist uprisings<br />Part of the US strategy to combat communism was to ensure food security in developing countries<br />President Truman visiting the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines<br />
Green revolution vs. traditional agriculture<br />Green revolution introduced High Yielding Crop Varieties (HYCVs) to India<br />HYCVs required constant input of agrochemicals (pesticides etc.) and fertilizers<br />New irrigation techniques were implemented<br />HYCV seeds and agrochemicals needed to be obtained from NGOs or from large distributors<br />Created difficult environment for small farmers <br />Seed had traditionally been harvested yearly from the field, now farming required lots of inputs<br />
High yield crop varieties (HYCVs)<br />International Rice Research Institute, IRRI<br />IR8 “miracle seed”<br />Cooking quality issues<br />Pest resistance issues <br />With proper inputs (fertilizer, chemicals) could produce up to 5x more grain per hectare <br />Semi dwarf varieties developed<br />More plant mass found in grain<br />Resistant to high winds<br />Distribution plant for IR8 in Africa<br />
Agrochemicals<br /><ul><li>Fertilizers had not been used on traditional crop varieties, promoted vegetation growth without increasing yield
Pesticide use necessary, many HYCV had poor pest resistance</li></ul>Issues from improper use of agrochemicals<br />Farmers wee not always taught proper application techniques<br />Toxic issues from pesticides<br />Over fertilization<br />Most fertilizers imported from US<br />Created large market for fertilizer manufacturing<br />Many war time explosive manufacturing plants converted to fertilizer manufacturing <br />
How did India benefit?<br />Increased Crop Yield seen in majority of HYCV areas<br />Large expansion of HYCV use continued well though the 80’s<br />Farms with proper use of agrochemicals/fertilizers saw dramatic increase<br />Benefit not seen as much in small farms<br />Eventually in most areas crop yield plateaued and subsequently fell<br />
What were the ecological consequences?<br />Problems with soil fertility<br />Micronutrient issues<br />Increased dependence of external applications of fertilizer<br />Water quality issues<br />Ecological degradation caused returns to decrease at the years went on<br />Loss of diversity <br />Improper application of pesticides caused poisoning <br />Activist poster from the 1980s calling for an end to pesticide use <br />
What were the social and political consequences<br />Changed the nature of agriculture, from internal to external inputs (buying seed, fertilizer etc)<br />The commercialization of relationships and subsequent cultural erosion <br />The rapid increase in grain in the first several years drove down the price of food, harder for small farmers to make a profit<br />It increased competition for smaller resources, rural inequality <br />
What were the social and political consequences<br />Seed and chemical distribution was controlled by the Indian government, the top-down approach created tensions in the state<br />Decreasing return on investments caused many farmers to blame government<br />Increased ethnic and religious tensions<br />Feelings of resentment among farmers<br />Farm riots<br />
Crisis in Punjab <br />Punjab region once known as India's “bread basket”<br />Inhabited by Sikh minority<br />Tensions between state and central Indian government over control of agricultural economics <br />Increased ethnic/religious tensions <br />Call for formation of independent Sikh state<br />
How does this relate to environmental history?<br />Changed how farmers interacted with the environment<br />Movement to high tech centralized agriculture<br />Commercialization of major grain seed<br />Illustrates relationships between environmental degradation and political/social issues <br />
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