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Green revolution is defined as the change which is revolutionary in agriculture with the aim of making a massive production of agricultural products. It emerged due to poverty and shortage of food in developing countries and the rapid population growth. The food produced genetic engineering methods (Bayliss and Wanmali, 1984, 14). The yield of grains meant more income for poor farmers boosting them from poverty and producing more food thus overcoming hunger.
Is Green revolution a better strategy for food production in Africa and Asia?
In Africa since the revolution managed 80 percent of continents farmland through production of food supplies in bulk most of small scale generally women, famers are considered vanguard of the Africans green revolution. Many of them can double or triple their low yields currently if only they receive the support needed. Africa had achieved the annual agricultural growth rates rising to 5percent and more (Griffin, 1974, 73). The green revolution in Africa among other things increased diversity, reconstitute biodiversity, raised potential of the irrigation methods and build capacity through the direct training in the agriculture and agro forestry thus intensifying international and regional cooperation. While other people rejected input-intensive agriculture for being the main failure of the revolutions, some maintained that soil in some parts of African was so degraded that there was need for different type of input (Griffin, 1974, 76).
It benefited mostly the land owners who could mostly afford investment necessary for intensive agriculture. It transplanted the range of agricultural technologies from the rich to poor countries. The technologies included the new seed strains, fertilizers, irrigation and tractors in replacement of oxen and mechanization. In agriculture the changes were experienced from arable farming and instigated in the developing countries with the intention of providing high quality and quantity of food for emerging big populations but it relied mostly on machinery and chemicals.
The revolution in Asia was adopted in 1960 and has invaluable lessons to Africa. As the rice barn of the world has been named as useful continent in the world when it comes to the implementation of green revolution mostly in production of rice. Some of the bureaucrats and experts said that without green revolution Asia would have suffered from famine. (Grigg, 1989, 48). The real challenge that faces developing countries is achievement of food security at the international household levels. The green revolution has a high yield crop varieties, agrochemical and irrigation is mostly seen as technological intervention in boosting food production. According to green revolution political construct and social-economic is seen and also having an environmental dimension as agriculture is most of the time based on natural resources.
Most of valuable lessons can be known from the Asian experience to green revolution. In Asia some farmers are turning from non-chemical to less-chemical agriculture as the green revolution costs rising with yields have stagnated. Now there is a whole range of knowledge and information that alternate systems of agriculture which are adapted from the traditional local systems based on empirical and conventional scientific studies .(Grigg, 1989, 32). Producing food requires most of necessary agricultural and machinery knowledge which are too costly. The green revolution production was initially successful in Southeast Asia. The wheat doubled in fifteen years while the Philippines rose to seventy five percent. After the revolution the population growth increased and the people migrated to the cities for employment and food supply affected. The food shortage also came up and in the process (Grigg, 1989, 35).
The key ending to the worlds hunger was through the green revolution. Despite the expanding of global food supplies there is an estimate of millions of hungry people in the world. In Asia precisely there is greatest production success that roughly the two-thirds of undernourished the entire world live (Hazell, 1987, 27). According to the media although the granaries in India being full and overflowing then becoming self sufficient thousands of children die of malnutrition while the other population of Indians are poverty stricken. Since the poor people can't afford buying food produced the government is left in trying to store millions of tons of food which at the end roots (Hazell, 1987, 29). Therefore the green revolution has reduced the importation of grains in India substantially but did not manage to remove hunger.
Pitfalls associated with green revolution policies
Despite of the successes it has been facing number of problems. The was high yielded varieties of the input intensive mostly when the use of fertilizers and pesticides was involved and worked best when there was fertilized soils with high water degree in both irrigation and the drainage and these input intensity had raised questions on sustainability on the agriculture yield (Jirstrom,1996,91).
Also the revolution based on rice and wheat mostly. Root crops e.g. potatoes, cassava, yams and sweet potatoes whereby in Africa and parts of Indian sub-continent where poverty and many challenges were involved had been left out of first green revolution (Jirstrom, 1996, 96). In addition to that productivity gains while using traditional techniques in breeding which are apparently are been exhausted for wheat and rice. The best practices that are yielded in research and the experiment stations have been flat for over a decade. Also there is evidence of frontier yields that are declining due to the quality of soil because the plants mostly function above the ground (Lipton, 1989, 53). Moreover growth of cereal yields in farms level in the developing countries has been slowed down significantly, most fundamentally because of strong links between the growth in agriculture and the performance with the rest of economic growth has been slowed down as well ( Lipton, 1989, 56).
Having the production of food advancing while the hunger widens, the question that emerges is under which conditions are the greater harvests condemned to failure in the hunger elimination? , to answer that whenever farmland is sold and bought like any other commodity society allows unlimited farmland accumulation by the few resulting to replacement of families by super farms that leads to suffering of whole society (Perkins, 1997. 21). Also increasing pests and weed problems, storage and processing, ecological detoriation both initiated with the green revolution. At the centre of the impact question are poverty, justice and equity (Perkins, 1997. 29).
The limitations of green revolution run from short to long-term effects. In short term there is supply and demand effects (Rigg, 1989, 11). Due to poor harvests caused by the adverse weather conditions in some regions reduce supply of cereals thus contributing to low world stocks. On the other hand increased production in bio-fuel raises the demand for maize (Rigg, 1989, 6).
The government policies are also factors affecting green revolution. In many countries reduction of stocks have been successful, however they have reduced capacity to in responding to speculation (Leaf, 1984, 33).The other short-term is market and the investments. It is relative new phenomenon whereby food prices are influenced through developments with non- food markets. The prices transmitted among commodities market are illustrated through correlation between food and energy prices (Leaf, 1984, 33).
On the other part long-term challenges issues are also inserting pressure on the food a particular population increase, production, the rising living standards, energy growing demands, climate change and scarcity of land and water. The long-run factors will definitely present increasing and major factors challenging the global food security (Leaf, 1984, 37). These factors are intimately linked and are impact across the societies in the areas such as the poverty alleviation with regional security thus exerting pressure on production of food.
Population increase and urbanization is one of the green revolution in that when the population increase combines with other transformational change mostly in developing world where people are moving from rural to cities and need to be serviced with food, energy and water. Estimation proves that half of people live in cities. (Sen and Dreze, 1989, 82).
Changes in economy leading to food demand changes are also a factor that affects the revolution. Population increase is coupled with increasing prosperity. The economic advances are projected to developing world that is helping in lifting millions from poverty and at the same time adding up to the challenges. As the income rises in the developing countries people's consumption rate on meat and the dairy products cause rapid growth and demand for agricultural commodities that feed livestock.