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Green Revolution

  • Date Submitted: 06/22/2010 04:55 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 46.4 
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A Second Green Revolution?

To help bring food security to the 8 billion people projected in 2025, the world needs another Green Revolution (18, 87, 111), as many delegates to the World Food Summit urged (24, 65). The Green Revolution that began in the 1960s has helped keep food supply ahead of rising demand over the past 30 years. By doubling and tripling yields, it bought time for developing countries to start dealing with rapid population growth.
But the Green Revolution represented only a "temporary success," as Norman Borlaug, the Danish-American plant geneticist who was one of its architects, noted upon receiving the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution (25). Borlaug pointed out that it is not enough to boost yields on existing cropland; slowing population growth also is crucial.
The first Green Revolution raised the productivity of the three main staple food crops—rice, wheat, and corn (83, 99). Between 1950 and 1990 grain yields increased by nearly two and a half times, from 1.06 metric tons per hectare to 2.52 tons (98). A second revolution also must raise the productivity of other important food crops such as sorghum, millet, and cassava—foods produced and consumed mainly by the world's poor (45, 55, 98, 99).
|[pic]                                         |Workers plant rice cuttings at an             |
|                                             |experimental rice farm near Bombay, India, in|
|                                             |1962. The Green Revolution that began in the |
|                                             |1960s has helped keep food production ahead   |
|                                             |of population growth. But it amounts to only |
|                                             |a temporary success. Now, a second Green     |
|                                             |Revolution is needed.                         |

So far, the outlook for a second Green Revolution is uncertain. Because most...

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