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Lecture

Green Revolution

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Department
International Development
Course
INTD 200
Professor
Warren Allmand
Semester
Fall

Description
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2012: Green Revolution  Green Revolution began in the 1960s—it was technological change of agricultural practices in South countries. There was a focus on food crops of global importance—rice, corn, and wheat etc. It was initiated to growing concerns about increasing populations, concerns about famines (particularly in India) and food shortages. It was initiated by the USA because it was in a Cold War context—the USA wanted southern countries fed so they wouldn’t revert to communism.  Research centers were established for specific food crops– International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines in 1960 was the first. Another one in Mexico focused on wheat and maize. They would look into pest management, production systems, irrigation, etc. Their focus was to increase yields, because with more crops they could stave off famine and malnutrition. There are now 16 CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research) research centers around the world focusing on different crops. o The model was transfer of technology approach—the new technologies were established by scientists in these research centers and distributed to farmers in development countries—a top down development approach (from a lab  farmers are given a finished product).  Green Revolution was:  The creation of high yield varieties, which were dwarf varieties which had very small stalks—more energy of the plant goes into making the wheat, not growing the stalk. These varieties work better with fertilizers, they are less photosensitive (can grow in different seasons) and they have shorter maturation times. Some are bred to be resistant to certain pests and diseases.  It was a transformation of the entire agricultural system, because they grow well under certain environmental conditions—they require fertilizers, irrigation, they require pesticides, etc. They were developing a smaller number of varieties that were able to grow in all different systems.  Positive impacts: o Yield increased substantia
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