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Green Revolution,term referring mainly to dramatic increases in cereal-grain yields in many developing countries beginning in the late 1960s, due largely to use of genetically improved varieties. Beginning in the mid-1940s in Mexico researchers led by American Norman E. BorlaugBorlaug, Norman Ernest
, 1914–2009, U.S. agronomist, b. near Saude, Iowa, grad. Univ. of Minn. (Ph.D., 1942). He worked as researcher with the E. I. du Pont Company until 1944, when he joined the Rockefeller Foundation in Mexico.
..... Click the link for more information. developed broadly adapted, short-stemmed, disease-resistant wheats that excelled at converting fertilizer and water into high yields. The improved seeds were instrumental in boosting Mexican wheat production and averting famine in India and Pakistan, earning Borlaug the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Significant though less dramatic improvements followed in corn. The Mexican program inspired a similarly successful rice-research effort in the Philippines and a network of research centers dedicated to the important food crops and environments of the developing world. More recent research has sought to respond to criticism that the Green Revolution depends on fertilizers, irrigation, and other factors that poor farmers cannot afford and that may be ecologically harmful; and that it promotes monocultures and loss of genetic diversity.
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green revolutionthe introduction of new species of crops and new techniques leading to greater crop yields. This began in Mexico in the 1950s, and from the mid-1960s new high-yielding varieties of rice and wheat were introduced in many THIRD WORLD countries. The most noticeable applications were in the Indian subcontinent where new strains of rice enabled double-cropping, eliminating a fallow period in the agricultural cycle. For a while these innovations were seen by many as solving food-supply problems. However, new problems arose, one of the most significant being that the new strains require heavy inputs of fertilizer, pesticides and machinery For Third World countries, these can be very expensive imports, and small farmers have been unable to gain access to the credit financing necessary for full advantage to be taken. Generally a p rocess of increasing impoverishment of poor farmers has resulted, with increasing income inequalities, a concentration of landholding and variable increases in food supplies. As Griffin (1979) points out, this was an example of a technological fix approach based on assumptions that technical solutions can operate independently of the institutional environment. He sums up by saying ‘the story of the green revolution is the story of a revolution that failed’. see also INTERMEDIATE TECHNOLOGY.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000