Miracle or Menace for less economically developed countries?.
The Green Revolution is a term used to describe the increase in food production in developing countries through the use of high yielding varieties (HYVs) of wheat and rice. .
The Green Revolution would give farmers a chance to break out of poverty by improving yields so the surplus could be sold and the money taken to buy more inputs to further increase income. It would also increase the production of rice. However, I feel that the Green Revolution was more a menace than a miracle for less economically developed countries. .
Although the adoption of HYV rice seeds has increased the world production of rice and from 1970 to 1990, the total food available per person in the world rose by 11 percent, the number of hungry people in the world (not including China) actually increased from 536 to 597 million. This increase in hungry people was not due to increase in population. Rather, it was because the people did not have access to the food or farming resources.
HYVs of rice seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation facilities cost money, and there may also be increased fuel costs for tractors and combine harvesters. This means that the adoption of new technology will raise the cost of rice production. Rich farmers can afford this, so their yields and income increase. The poor farmers that cannot pay for the expensive inputs and such technology have yields that remain low. .
When the rice is ready to be sold, the poor farmers" situation worsens as prices of rice will fall when overall yields are high and there is a surplus. Unlike rich farmers, poor farmers cannot hold out long enough to get the best price for their crops and would have to sell their rice at a reduced price. HYV rice tasting slightly different from traditional rice and being less nutritious does not help matters as farmers get less money for their rice. In these ways, the poor get poorer, while the rich get richer.